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amicable uncouplingIf you had never heard the term “conscious uncoupling “till recently, nobody would blame you.  The term, however, now has gained worldwide attention after it was used by Oscar-winning actor Gwyneth Paltrow on her website GOOP.  The term was used in reference to her impending divorce from her husband, musician Chris Martin.  Paltrow announced that she and her husband were separating, and would soon undergo the process of “consciously uncoupling.”

A “conscious uncoupling,” according to an essay that was posted on Paltrow’s website, is a process of breaking off a marital relationship gently, with respect accorded to the other spouse, and prioritizing the children’s interests.  In other words, this is not a hostile or acrimonious divorce, and not a divorce that will make its way to a courtroom.  In a conscious uncoupling, the couple will try to resolve all matters behind closed doors, in privacy, and will make sure that their children’s interests remain foremost on their list of priorities as they move towards dismantling their marital relationship.

As expected, there were a lot of sniggers on social media after Paltrow’s announcement and her use of the term. However, while the coining of the term itself is fairly recent, the concept behind “conscious uncoupling” is not.  Every Colorado divorce lawyer is familiar with the process of collaborative divorce, and in fact, highly recommends this strategy to a couple that wants to end the marital relationship. The processes involved in “conscious uncoupling” are very similar to the tenets of collaborative divorce.

A collaborative divorce is in stark contrast to a litigated divorce, which is conducted in a courtroom. In a collaborative divorce, you will be represented by an attorney, but the entire process will be based on negotiations. The key here is negotiating with your partner, and both of you retaining decision-making power, as opposed to litigation divorce where much of the decision-making power is handed over to a judge.

There are several benefits to a collaborative divorce. The most important of these is the tone of the divorce. This is not the kind of divorce that is likely to lead to hostility, and the spouses are encouraged to deal with their issues respectfully, searching for practical and not emotional solutions to their challenges. Children are prioritized with a view to minimizing the emotional and financial impact on them.

Moreover, these divorces are not played out in courtrooms, but are conducted behind closed doors in a private setting.  Ultimately, during a collaborative, conscious uncoupling –style divorce, you and your spouse will share control over what both your lives will look like, post-divorce.