Gwyneth Paltrow says she didn’t come up with the phrase “conscious uncoupling”, so what were her intentions behind how she wanted to separate from Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin?
Only Ms Paltrow can answer this, but what about the hundreds of other couples who want to separate without the animosity that is often associated with a relationship breakdown?
I regularly speak with clients who tell me that things are still amicable and they want keep it that way even though they are going through a divorce – this is especially so if they have children. As a Divorce Lawyer, it is my role to listen to how my client wants matters to be dealt with. If a client wants to keep their separation amicable, then it is my job to achieve that.
There are several ways to keep things constructive, amicable and out of court when you are separating.
Four Top Tips for Amicable Separation
- Be civil – think of your relationship as you would a business relationship. You don’t have to like to people you do business with, but it helps if you get on. This is especially relevant when you have children.
Parenting doesn’t stop when children turn 18, it is a lifelong commitment. You don’t want to be the bitter parent at your child’s wedding or graduation, who can’t sit down at the same table as their ex. Your child could suffer as a consequence of this and you wouldn’t want to ruin their big day.
- Avoid open criticism – if you talk negatively about your ex in front of the children it can upset your children and can make them feel guilty for spending time with the other parent.
- Be collaborative – work together to separate. Collaborative law is a way of separating finances and sorting out the arrangements for children, by sitting round a table with your ex-partner and their solicitor in a constructive and non-confrontational manner. For more information read our online legal advice guide about Collaborative Law.
- Mediate – you can refer yourself to mediation, or ask your solicitor to do it for you. Mediation is where you and your ex-partner sit down together with an independent, impartial mediator who will act as a facilitator by helping you reach an agreement over your finances and/or arrangements for your children.
At Slater and Gordon we have trained collaborative lawyers, mediators and arbitrators available to take you through the process of separating with dignity and, who knows, we may even be able to help you consciously uncouple.
Sarah Thompson is a Principal Family Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
If you would like to discuss any of the above or find out more about alternative dispute resolution, then please contact our Family and Divorce Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help.