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'Conscious uncoupling' not as uncommon as it sounds

Divorce is always an emotional experience. The feelings that can be generated as individuals go through the process can run the gamut from anger and bitterness about real or perceived betrayals to outright relief that a bad situation is finally being addressed.

One thing that Ohio attorneys with experience in this particular area of law would likely agree upon is that where emotion rules, the chances of a less-than-optimal outcome increase. This can apply whether the couple is going through a contested or uncontested divorce.

This may be one reason why mediated or negotiated divorce is becoming more and more common. In at least one state, the courts make it a requirement for couples to attempt to work out terms of their divorce through arbitration or mediation. And nationally, by at least one estimate, the number of divorces that actually wind up having to go to trial is fewer than 5 percent.

Often, the main driver for pursuing the more civil process of mediation comes down to family. The days of staying married for the sake of the children seems to be being replaced by recognition that for the sake of the kids, divorce is better. And yet, both parents remain committed to raising their children.

This trend has earned the moniker of "conscious uncoupling" -- a term that has garnered a lot of media attention lately perhaps thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow. But it's not exclusive to those in her social strata.

As an example, there's the case of the ex-spouses, who for the sake of the family, both moved from New York City to Ann Arbor, Michigan. They had used mediation to divorce in 2008. In 2011, when she got into business school in Michigan, he followed her west and they now live four blocks from each other.

Their commitment to family is so strong, that last fall, when he suffered a heart attack and faced a long road to recovery, she moved into his house to help. In her mind, it just made sense because, "we feel like we're family more than friends."

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

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