What is Conscious Uncoupling?

What is Conscious Uncoupling?

You may have heard the media use the term “Conscious Uncoupling”. I became familiar with the phrase in 2014 when actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin announced the end of their 10-year marriage. The announcement said:

“It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”  Using her celebrity platform, Gwyneth introduced a relatively new concept to the general public.

The phrase “conscious uncoupling” may have been promoted by Gwyneth, but it was actually coined by author Katherine Woodward Thomas in 2009. She writes about an approach that has the ability to heal relationships rather than damage them. The author is not an attorney or mediator, however, her phrase beautifully coincides with the mediation process.

Which path is right for you?

We discuss in mediation that couples have a clear choice of which path they would like to take. One path is filled with pitfalls, traps, and financial roadblocks, the other path is efficient, gentle, and can lead your family toward a brighter future. When given a choice, most couples choose the amicable path and discover that an amicable outcome can be achieved even under the most difficult circumstances.

If the term “conscious uncoupling” seems strange to you, simply consider how a peaceful outcome can help your family move forward with a new and healthy beginning. A mediator can carefully guide you through with dignity, respect, and peace of mind. Families that choose mediation are supported through the process and learn and grow from the experience.


Find out if a better approach would benefit you and your family. Contact family law mediator, Dawn Clement at dawn@clementmediation.com for a consultation.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.