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'Conscious uncoupling' has been a divorce fad for years

You have probably heard of the "conscious uncoupling" movement that is sweeping through divorce circles after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin coined the term. The trend has reached Michigan and most other states; if you look at the numbers, just 5 percent of modern divorces end up in trial. Mediation and arbitration have become the norm, even in traditionally contentious states like New Jersey. There, lawyers are required to advise their clients about the usefulness of these alternative methods. Although Paltrow and Martin popularized the phrase, alternative divorce methods have been quietly gaining traction for years.

One man shares his personal experience with an amicable divorce. The 48-year-old said that he broke off his relationship with his ex-wife on such amicable terms that she moved into his home after he suffered a devastating illness. Both continue to co-parent their sons, ignoring the norms that dictate the idea that divorce should be contentious.

How do you get started with mediation? First, it is important to find the right legal team to back up your divorce proceedings. Mediators may have legal backgrounds, or they may simply work with your attorneys to facilitate the split. Some mediators are also mental health practitioners; they can help you with the emotional aspect of the divorce.

No matter your reason for choosing to divorce, you can often avoid many divorce legal issues if you consider alternative courtroom methods. Arguing over child support, alimony and other considerations does not have to take over your life. In fact, a "conscious uncoupling" could be beneficial for your emotions and your pocketbook, as these alternative divorces may be cheaper than traditional litigation.

Source: New York Post, "Divorcing couples follow Gwyneth’s lead and ‘consciously uncouple’" Kate Storey, May. 27, 2014

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