"Conscious uncoupling" has lit up the internet over the past few days. Many Nebraska residents may wonder what has caused this somewhat-clunky phrase to suddenly enter the lexicon. The answer is "conscious uncoupling" is the phrase that Gwyneth Paltrow used to describe her split from Chris Martin, her husband of more than 10 years. Paltrow and Martin have two children together, and it is unclear if their "conscious uncoupling" means that they are getting a divorce soon, or if they are merely separated as they stated.
Regardless of the furor over the phrase "conscious uncoupling," there are a couple of interesting things from this story. The first is that legal separation is a very important stage in a couple's divorce process.
When a couple legally separates, they are not officially divorced. They are still married, but they often choose to live apart. This separation gives them a chance to think over some critical issues in their relationship. It can also give them some "me" time, which can be refreshing and a positive step for the spouses. Ultimately, this time in legal separation can help a couple realize that they really do want to stay together, or that divorce truly is the right option for them.
The other aspect to this story is the idea of collaboration and amicable divorce. The phrase "conscious uncoupling" seems to indicate a certain level of mediation. The spouses aren't angry and upset with each other to the point that they will engage in a lengthy court battle. Instead, "conscious uncoupling" seems to indicate a thought-out and uncontested divorce that will help the spouses move on to greener pastures in their lives.
Source: Huffington Post, "What Is 'Conscious Uncoupling'? Experts Unpack Gwyneth Paltrow's Split Announcement," Anna Almendrala, March 26, 2014