Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are expected to file divorce papers. The news comes just a year after the couple took to the internet to explain their “conscious uncoupling.”
Conscious uncoupling immediately became a trendy phrase and mind-thought regarding divorce as soon as Paltrow announced the separation from husband and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. The announcement hit her lifestyle site Goop.com and instantly became part of our internet-era lexicon. Rather than a hostile break up of a marriage, “conscious uncoupling” is meant to be a more gentle process of unlinking.
An essay about “conscious uncoupling” written by Drs.Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami accompanied Paltrow and Martin’s annoucement. The two doctors specialize in combining Eastern and Western medicine. Their argument maintains that expectations around having a life-long-lasting marriage need to evolve along with humans’ expanded life expectancy. The “success” of a marriage should be defined by looking at how meaningful and fulfilling the relationship is for both partners instead of judging the “success” by how long a marriage stays together.
M. Gary Neuman, psychotherapist, marriage expert, and creator of the Neuman Method, considers the couple as the center of the family. Thus, “conscious uncoupling” de-centers the family.
Keeping the Bliss Alive
According to a study done by American and European researchers who tracked 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years, newlyweds only have two years to enjoy the special bliss that their marriage brings. After that, couples move into a relationship that is more about companionship. While some couples were happy with this companionship, some couples felt that it was a signal that something was wrong. Here are some ways to keep the spark in the marriage according to the Neuman Method:
- Have new experiences – this can mean signing up for a class together, or attending a lecture. You want to have new experiences that you can share with each other.
- Travel together – There’s nothing more exciting than discovering a new place with each other.
- It’s all about surprises and thoughtfulness – flowers or simple little texts to say “I love you” throughout the day are great little reminders and often the things missed
- Turn down the noise of social media, cell phones, work, etc… At some point you need to disconnect from the rest of the world and focus on that one other person.
- Pay attention to the little things – These little things go a long way. Remember all the little things you use dto do at the beginning of the relationship? Why not continue to do them?
Still, marriage can be a difficult thing to keep fresh. People grow apart and separate. Many different factors play into this – kids, work, etc… If anything, “conscious uncoupling” indicates a more holistic approach when it comes to thinking about the divorce process, and one that fits in with the practice of a collaborative divorce.
Family lawyer Nathalie Boutet considers that from a legal standpoint, “conscious uncoupling” is indicative of a divorce. As she explained, amicable and collaborative divorces allow couples to avoid any unnecessary conflict. This type of conflict prolongs and publicizes negotiations, explained Boutet. According to her, “[Conscious uncoupling] is simply thinking about the consequences of your actions…it’s making plans rather than reacting to emotions like fear, anger or revenge.”
During a collaborative divorce process a team of four people—lawyers for each spouse, a mental health coach and financial professional – work together to create a workable solution for each spouse regarding child support and visitation, spousal support, and marital property division. Because the collaboration is done face to face, each spouse is able to voice his or her own opinion. The process allows people to come to an emotional, financial, and legal solution.
Less Expensive and Less Time Spent
Collaborative divorces can also mean less money spent on the divorce process. According to Jenkins, when a divorce goes to trial, you can pay $100,000 just to get to the courthouse steps. But an average collaborative divorce costs about $32,000. “People are raiding their retirement accounts just to pay for divorces,” said Rackham Karlsson, a collaborative attorney. “Going to court can be more expensive, more time intensive and corrosive for children.”
The average collaborative divorce takes three to four months to reach a settlement whereas divorce cases that go to trial can drag on for years. Because it’s up to a judge to come to a final decision, there is little control over timing and outcome when it comes to a divorce case that enters divorce court.
Alternative to Standard Divorce Process
There are numerous reasons why collaborative divorce is a perfect alternative to a standard divorce. If a couple is capable of working through a divorce through collaboration and working with various professionals, they are, in the long run, able to save time, money, and a lot of headaches.
Paltrow and Martin were married for 11 years and are expected to be citing irreconcilable differences as their reason for ending their marriage.
In most states, “irreconcilable differences” is a reason for which a person is able to file for divorce. Filing “irreconcilable differences” typically means there is no hope the couple will be able to resolve the problems they have and save the marriage. Some states use the term ” irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” It’s important to note that each state has different requirements regarding filing for divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences. You will want to work with a divorce attorney to learn your state’s specific laws regarding grounds for marriage.
In California, which is a no-fault state, irreconcilable differences serves as grounds for divorce. “No-fault” means that neither party is at fault for the end of the marriage. So neither spouse is able to be found “guilty” for committing any sort of extenuating act, such as adultery, abandonment or extreme cruelty.
It makes sense that Paltrow and Martin are citing irreconcilable differences as the couple seems to have maintained friendly relations despite the end of their marriage. This is extremely important for couples that share children.
Co-parenting is a crucial part of ending a marriage. It seems that the parents of Apple and Moses have managed to work out a co-parenting relationship.
What is co-parenting and how can you do it effectively? It’s often the child or the children that take it the hardest when it comes to divorce. Co-parenting is a completely new way of living your life. You might need to consult a therapist or lawyer to work out an arrangement. Regardless of what you decide, you’re going to have to dig deep and find an approach to this new way of life.
Kids Interests First
To be a successful parent, and thus “co-parent” you will need to put child’s best interests above your own and forge an amicable relationship with your ex. You two don’t need to be besties, you just need to find a way to make this new relationship work.
This can be done in a number of ways:
- Work out a method of communication – via text or email
- Remove the emotion
- Work out a schedule
- Be flexible
- Commit to cooperating
Once you have an agreement regarding your co-parenting situation, just know that it will not always be easy.
Working with a Family Law Attorney
Divorce can be an emotionally difficult time. A divorce attorney can help. A family law attorney will be able to help you through various aspects, including drafting a separation agreement, decisions on children, determining spousal support, and dividing marital property should you decide to divorce. Your family law attorney will also be able to advise you on your state’s specific laws regarding property division, child support, and alimony.
If you decide to hire a family law attorney lawyer to help with your divorce, it’s important to choose one that will be a good fit for you and your situation. When considering a lawyer for a collaborative divorce, you’ll want to align yourself with one that will represent you in the way you want to be represented. That can either be in an aggressive fashion, or more laid back. You will want to look at your situation and all the aspects of your marriage that will need to be decided and agreed to. A lawyer will be able to advise you on all the things you might not be aware of. This includes marital property division, child custody, and how these decisions will also affect you when it comes to tax season. They can advise on co-parenting schedules and how to work out child custody and alimony agreements. Working with a family law attorney will help you receive a fair divorce settlement.