Paltrow and Martin divorce: taking a conscious and different approach

Earlier this week, we learned of the impending divorce of yet another famous couple. However, when actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she and her husband musician Chris Martin were planning to divorce, the language she used was unique. Rather than saying the couple planned to divorce or end their marriage, Paltrow used the phrase "conscious uncoupling". While the philosophy of conscious uncoupling is not new, few are likely familiar with the term.

To many Americans and New Yorkers, the word divorce stirs negative emotions and signals the start to a contentious and lengthy legal battle after which former spouses are destined to resent and hate one another. While some divorces certainly match this description, Paltrow's use of the word conscious suggests she and Martin have other plans for how their divorce, and relationship after divorce, will play out.

While there are numerous things that may contribute to a couple's decision to divorce, the bottom line is that things just weren't working out. Tired of the arguing, anger, sadness and resentment; some couples come to the mutual agreement that ending the marriage is the best option for all involved parties.

While a couple may make the decision that they no longer want to be married, it doesn't mean they have to fight throughout the divorce process and hate one another after the papers are signed. To the contrary, divorced couples, particularly those with children, must often be able to effectively communicate both during and after a divorce and it's best to do so in a civil and mature manner.

For divorced parents, both parents are likely to at least initially struggle financially as things that were previously afforded on two salaries, must now be afforded on one. For the sake of shared children, divorce parents need to be able to communicate and agree upon matters related to raising and providing for their children.

For New York City residents who plan to file for divorce, while the process is not without pain and stress, it should also be celebrated as an opportunity to find independence and happiness and forge a different and better relationship with an ex-spouse.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "‘Consciously Uncouple’: Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow Are Doing It. Should Anyone?," Abby Tolchinsky and Ellie Wertheim, March 26, 2014

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