The New Push for Amicable Divorces

Gwyneth Paltrow famously announced her and husband Chris Martin would be 'consciously uncoupling'

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin put “conscious uncoupling” on the map.

Last week, The Washington Post declared “the death of traditional marriage” given the rise of Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling,” the platonic parenting trend, and the most recent social media phenomenon – divorce selfies. In the past two weeks, couples across the globe have been uploading pictures on social media with their ex-spouse boasting that they are now divorced … and happy with each other.

Why is the picture of divorce changing from screaming matches in a law office to smiling pictures of ex-spouses together on social media? More importantly, is an amicable divorce attainable? Is this something new? What’s going on?

What Is The Shift?

Many couples are trying to redefine divorce stereotypes. Some people say they no longer view divorce as a devastating, emotionally scarring experience that is a source of shame or failure. This is exactly right! Divorce can be a natural, amicable point of transition. This viewpoint is based on the fact that:

  • Marriage does not have to be the most defining aspect of a person’s life. Divorcing couples are entitled to reimagine what marriage is and that it “is not necessarily all-important, all-fulfilling or immutable, “The Washington Post.
  • Couples are also making a more concerted effort to put their children’s needs before their emotions in the midst of and following a divorce, a trend that has been dubbed platonic parenting. More parents are agreeing to keep their parenting relationship completely separate from their personal relationship for the sake of their children.
  • The rise of the term conscious coupling, which was first introduced by relationship therapist Katherine Woodward, according to The Huffington Post, then popularized by Gwyneth Paltrow in her divorce from Chris Martin. Since then, more people have become educated on ways to end a relationship, while still making a commitment to the family.

Has Anything Really Changed?

There is really nothing new in any of this. It all depends on the mindset of the individuals involved.

The terminology has changed, but an amicable divorce has always been possible. Many couples have amicably divorced in the past. However, an amicable divorce is not going to be possible in the vast majority of situations. Human nature is just too strong. Financial issues are too important. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t be a Gwyneth Paltrow.

There are, however, things you can do to better the chances for a successful resolution of your marriage:

  • I’ve always stressed getting a prenup before marriage for many reasons, including the fact that it will help ease emotions during a divorce. Create a prenup before you walk down the aisle when you’re still in love and on the same page. This will curb some fiery emotions later on as you have what each receives in writing.
  • Pick an attorney that you feel at ease with. You should always select a lawyer you feel comfortable with and you believe has your best interest at heart. Knowing you have someone on your side will help calm the stress.
  • Consider mediation first. Before heading to the courtroom, talk with your lawyer about going to mediation. It will be less expensive and less stressful, leading to a smoother divorce.

Whether you’re prepared for a calm divorce or dreading a more emotional one, contact a lawyer who can help ease the divorce process and put you on a new path to renewed happiness.