April 22, 2014

Conscious Uncoupling and Collaborative Practice

Categories: Collaborative LawDivorce

Recent articles in the New York Times and the StarTribune (March 29, 2014) covered Gwyneth Paltrow’s announcement that she and her husband of 11 years, Chris Martin, were consciously uncoupling.  In other words, getting a divorce.  I was struck by how the term “conscious uncoupling”—coined by LA therapist and author, Katherine Woodward Thomas—neatly describes what happens in the out-of-court divorce process called Collaborative Law aka Collaborative Practice.  Collaborative Practice uses a collaborative approach to respectfully honor the marriage that is ending and intentionally plan for the best possible future for all family members.   What is accomplished by many couples in Collaborative Practice is what the term “conscious uncoupling” implies:  mutual respect, integrity, being mindful of the well-being of children, planning for the future by problem-solving in the present, being empowered to make informed decisions, and creating a climate for healing.

A new era is upon us, one where ending a relationship does not have to be adversarial, judgmental, or harmful.  If it takes a celebrity to lead us into this new era, I am all for it.  Gwyneth, you go girl!

Tonda L. MattieABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tonda Mattie

Tonda Mattie has been a Family Law attorney for over 30 years and has practiced exclusively Collaborative Family Law since 2006.  She has been involved in the Collaborative Law movement since 1992.  She has been past President and past Co-President of the Collaborative Law Institute (CLI) of Minnesota.  She has headed the CLI Training Committee as chair or co-chair since 2004.  She is engaged in the practice of her dreams using a collaborative process that 1) allows good people to be their best despite the crisis they are in; 2) is centered on the well-being of the children; 3) creates a safe environment for difficult conversations; 4) focuses on the future rather than on blame and past grievances; 5) identifies and meets the needs and interests of all family members; 6) empowers parties to control and create their own mutual settlement; and 7) creates a climate in which healing can begin to occur. Visit her website at www.mndivorce.com.

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