There has been considerable discussion of ‘conscious uncoupling’ in the media over the last few weeks. Some of it has been earnest and the rest somewhat amused. The discussion came of course from the announcement that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were to separate after 10 years together.
There has however been little explanation of what a conscious uncoupling actually involves. Is it just an idealistic term used to mask a messy divorce? Or should we all aspire to a positive separation process?
Divorce and separation is becoming all the more common and as such we need to approach these matters with care, especially where children are involved.
Conscious uncoupling appears to involve a deliberate, clear headed decision taken after much soul searching and consideration of the likely consequences and ramifications. Paltrow and Martin appear to have tried to restore their relationship, sadly failed and then worked out how to continue being a family even though they are no longer a couple.
In dealing with their separation in this ‘conscious’ way, they have been able to retain enough of their once happy relationship to allow them to go on holiday together as a family. Children are much more likely to cope with separation if their parents are able to keep in place some of the main family structures.
Mediation is a good tool to use to try and achieve such an outcome. It does not focus on getting back together, but on working together to make decisions about your lives moving forward, for the benefit of all those involved.
Divorce is often a painful, frightening and infuriating time and so it is important to seek good advice. It is essential to explore the options available when matters cannot be worked out between the couple themselves. Mediation and the collaborative law process will support a couple to keep talking about what is best for their family at a time when they may feel least able to do so.