By James S. Margulis, Esq.
For most people, there are few things in life that are as devastating as going through the painful breakup of a relationship.
Bitter endings to love relationships can cause turmoil in every aspect of your life. It can often feel like your whole world has shattered, and you're not even sure where all the pieces are to try to put it back together. This is especially true if you are going through a divorce. Divorce can be a very painful and drawn out process that inhibits your ability to move on and put a relationship behind you.
On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced to the world they were "consciously uncoupling." Gwyneth posted on her website, GOOP, an explanation of the purpose of "conscious uncoupling." – A "Conscious Uncoupling is the ability to understand that every irritation and argument [within a marriage] was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing," they write. "From this perspective, there are no bad guys, just two people," they say, expanding on the blame-free, "it's about people as individuals, not just the relationship" theory.
Katherine Woodward Thomas the creator of the term "Conscious Uncoupling" describes as "a way to break up that is characterized by goodwill, generosity and respect. They also agree to minimize the damage to themselves, to their children, and to their spouse." A free online seminar is available on her website for couples that wish to engage in "conscious uncoupling".
The "Conscious Uncoupling" method upholds that there are three "power bases," which are your relationship with yourself, with others, and with life, and that you need to understand all of them to get to the "deeper truth." The relationship with yourself is often trickiest for people to pin down, but it's central to how Conscious Uncoupling relates to divorces and separations.
The "Conscious Uncoupling" method approaches everything, with a "we both did this, we're both responsible" outlook, which should, in theory, keep things amicable between two parties in a divorce or separation.
The best legal approach to engaging in the "Conscious Uncoupling" method is to have a Separation Agreement drafted on terms to which the parties can agree. In some circumstances, individuals can agree on some things such as parenting time or division of assets and liabilities during a divorce. In those circumstances, an attorney can help you draft an agreement with those terms and assist you with coming to an agreement on the outstanding issues or pursue the outstanding issues in Court. In some circumstances, the parties are able to agree on all the terms of the divorce. In those cases, a Separation Agreement is extremely beneficial to ensure that both parties are granted a future legal security that a brief Court Order cannot obtain, i.e. tax benefits, future modifications of support, and future attorney's fees.
If you wish to engage in a "Conscious Uncoupling" divorce or separation, please contact us and we will assist you with your Separation Agreement and ensure that the separation or divorce process is amicable and blame-free.
Please contact the Domestic Group at Feldmann & Nagel, LLC for all of your domestic agreement and family law needs.