By: Bruce P. Matez, Esq.
By now most everyone who follows popular culture or watches the news has heard about Gwyneth Paltrow’s plan for “conscious uncoupling” from her husband, Chris Martin of Coldplay. Many are asking what “conscious uncoupling” is. People have been doing this for many years without the fancy nomenclature. My partner Gary and I have been helping couples “consciously uncouple” for many years through mediation and collaborative divorce, both generally friendlier and gentler methods of divorcing. These alternatives to the traditional litigation and adversarial model for divorce have been around for decades and have been gaining in popularity over the last 10 years. These methods typically help people spend less money on legal fees, maintain good communication and co-parenting, create far less stress and anxiety during the divorce and after, and allow couples (especially parents) to remain respectful toward each other and have a good relationship beyond the divorce. The decision that couples make about HOW they will divorce can be the most important decision they make because it sets the tone for them, their children, grandchildren, extended families and others for the rest of their lives. I hope that more couples will take the same route that Gywneth and Chris are going and choose to divorce in a more respectful and “conscious” way. As Robert Frost said “two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” When you are divorcing you can choose which road you’ll take, the traditional litigation road or one that is less contentious and more “conscious.” Choose the one that will make all the difference like Gwyneth and Chris.