On March 25, 2014, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin, frontman for Coldplay, announced their decision to go their separate ways. The way in which they made that announcement, however, made people scratch their heads in confusion.

Paltrow & Martin’s Separation Announcement

“Conscious Uncoupling” was the title of the journal entry that Paltrow posted on her lifestyle website “Goop” to serve as her and Martin’s official separation announcement. In the entry, she said:

“We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”

And so the question is: “What is ‘conscious uncoupling?'” Since Paltrow and Martin’s announcement, marriage and divorce experts across the country – and around the world – have voiced their opinions and attempted to explain what the term means.

Where the Term Came From

The journal entry ran alongside an essay about conscious uncoupling written by Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami. The substance of the essay is that our concept of marriage as being lifelong must evolve with the longer life expectancy that we have today. They argue that a successful marriage should not be defined by how long it lasts, but rather by how meaningful and fulfilling the relationship is for both parties.

Paltrow has always been recognized for her “new-agey” lifestyle and way of thinking. It is no surprise that she chose to view her and Martin’s separation in this light.

Explaining Conscious Uncoupling

Essentially, “conscious uncoupling” is a process of separation that focuses on a non-combative, amicable means of dissolving a marriage. There is no arguing or litigation, but rather a conscious decision to gently dissolve the marriage and go separate ways while still keeping the best interests of the children in mind. One of the main focuses of conscious uncoupling is to maintain a co-parenting mindset, where both parents are still equally involved in the raising of the children.

Collaborative Divorce: A Similar Approach

Conscious Uncoupling is a “close cousin” to what we call “COLLABORATIVE DIVORCEhere in Hampton Roads. The general concept is the same: dissolve the marriage as amicably as possible, as you, your spouse, and the collaborative team work out your own, unique and customized divorce agreement. Such a settlement is far more satisfying and much less traumatic for the divorcing couple and their children than a litigated divorce where the Judge, who does not know you, makes decisions for you–decisions that will affect you and your children for many years to come.

The Collaborative Practice Center of Coastal Virginia focuses exclusively on guiding clients through the collaborative divorce process. We can help you:

  • Reduce the emotional impact on your children
  • Avoid court
  • Maintain your privacy
  • Avoid the high cost of litigated divorce
  • Achieve a more satisfactory outcome

Perhaps you are looking to get a divorce and you want to avoid court, but “conscious uncoupling” just isn’t your thing. In that case, you should consider collaborative divorce. The general concept is the same: dissolve the marriage as amicably as possible, as you and your spouse work out your own divorce agreement.

Contact a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer in Virginia

Collaborative practice can allow you and your spouse to dissolve your marriage and go your separate ways while maintaining a healthy, stable co-parenting lifestyle for your children. Learn more today by calling (757) 209-2308 to speak with a Virginia collaborative divorce attorney!

The Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia serves clients throughout Virginia, including those in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, Suffolk, Hampton and surrounding areas.

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