Nearly two-thirds of divorced Brits say they wanted to remain friends with their ex-partner after splitting up, revealing a recent rise in celebrity-inspired 'conscious uncoupling'.
Instead of lengthy and aggressive court battles new research has revealed that 64 per cent of separated couples said they wanted to have a good relationship with their ex after their divorce and just 28 per cent saying they aren’t interested in staying civil with their ex.
Most respondents (68 per cent) said they would be happy to spend time with their ex and more than a third said they would even feel comfortable going on a family holiday with their ex like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin did with their children last year.
Since Gwyneth first coined the term 'conscious uncoupling' in 2014, divorce lawyers at Slater and Gordon have seen an increase in couples making an effort to remain cordial throughout their separation prompting them to commission the research of 1,603 recently divorced Brits.
Amanda McAlister, Head of Family Law at Slater and Gordon, said: "When a high profile couple like Gwyneth and Chris split it is common for us to see a rise in couples looking to replicate a celebrity inspired separation.
“The fact that their divorce has been so amicable can be quite eye opening for couples who might have stayed unhappily married because they don't want to go through an acrimonious and bitter divorce.
“We saw a similar trend for 'quickie' divorces after Nigella and Saatchi split and a trend for aggressive court battles when Paul McCartney and Heather Mills divorced.
"It's always nice if a couple can remain friends and continue to take the kids away on holidays together but it's not always realistic.
“Couples are often hurt and angry and don't want to compromise during a settlement. If you don't have the money that celebrities do then it's important to secure your future and the security of your children - even if that means taking a more aggressive approach."
More than half of those surveyed said they made an effort to stay friends with their ex and a similar number said they found it easy to stay friends.
Nearly a quarter said they found it easier to become friends again as time passed and they both moved on.
The most common reason for recently separated couples to stay friends was for the sake of their children and to make the divorce process easier in the long run.
One in five said they had a lot of history with their ex and one in ten said they wanted to make it easier for their mutual friends.
Six per cent said that they still loved their ex despite not being 'in love' with them while four per cent said they worried about their financial situation so wanted to stay on good terms with their ex to avoid aggravating them.
One in twenty said they were close to their ex’s family which had prompted them to remain friends, while more than half still have contact with their ex’s family since the separation.
Nearly a third admitted to being inspired by amicable celebrity break-ups and 21 per cent said they thought it was nice that couples would still go on holiday together after a divorce.
Twenty nine per cent said they had tried mediation in their own divorce and 37 per cent said they did not use it, but wished they had.
Amanda McAlister, divorce lawyer at Slater and Gordon said: “It can be complicated and difficult to maintain a civil relationship during divorce proceedings.
“But there are some steps that can potentially make a divorce less traumatic for all parties. This includes engaging solicitors who are committed to the amicable divorce process through informal roundtable meetings. It’s also about having an attitude that generally takes away the need for conflict and battle lines.
“However, I would always advise couples to take independent legal advice if there is any conflict about the way assets and access to children should be decided.”
Top reasons Brits stay friends with their ex:
- For the children
- To make things easier in the long run
- Because of a shared history
- To retain shared friends
- I ‘love’ my ex, but I’m not in love with them
- Need to remain on good terms because of financial worries
- To remain close to ex-partner’s family
- Because I like my ex-partner
- Value the friendship
- In case we ever want to reconcile