Inside the Culture of Conscious Uncoupling
With conscious uncoupling, fear, sadness, and anger can be channelled into personal growth.
Separated couples who co-parent children no longer have to be seen as a ‘broken family’.
The culture of conscious uncoupling is a revolutionary perspective on marriage, relationships, and breakups.
The pandemic has significantly altered the realities of daily life.
Conscious uncoupling goes beyond a squeaky-clean divorce image.
Who had a conscious uncoupling?
Does anyone actually know what conscious uncoupling is? People always think they know, and say that it’s what Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin did years ago, but do we even know what they did? No, of course we don’t. Let’s be honest, we never know what celebrities do. That’s why turning to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s high-profile divorce for an explanation of conscious uncoupling simply won’t do.
Conscious uncoupling is more than just a vamped-up term for amicable divorce. To go inside the culture of conscious uncoupling we need to read more and know more than the blogpost written by Paltrow’s lifestyle company that merely scratched the surface.
To dive deep, and I mean really deep, we need to start at the beginning. Well, in this case let’s start with endings – with divorce.
Who invented breakup?
Henry VIII’s annulment to Catherine of Aragon not only marked the creation of an entirely new church, but it marked the beginning of an entirely new marital status – divorced. But we don’t have to go all the way back to the 15th century to talk about conscious uncoupling.
The point is back in the olden days, divorce was originally introduced because of the King’s alleged dissatisfaction with the Queen’s inability to birth a son. Although Henry VIII’s reasons for separating from his wife are not as common as to why people consciously uncouple today, there is a similarity between this 500-year-old divorce and Paltrow’s split from musician, Chris Martin.
Both terms were brought to the public by people with substantial power and recognition. The comparison here is not to say that celebrities like Paltrow and Martin are the modern-day queens and kings, it is to say that these terms only gain notoriety when displayed by “important” people. This is crucial to note in order to understand how divorce, and consequently conscious uncoupling, has been stigmatized.
Divorce has come a long way since the 15th century, but the stigma attached to it hasn’t really budged. The Family and Youth Institute writes that couples still face shame from stigma “brought on by a lack of education and understanding,” intensifying feelings of loneliness throughout the divorce process and creating a negative impact on mental health and well-being.
The shame couples face is not because divorce means that a wife wasn’t able to birth a son, it’s because of the fact that divorce goes against a traditional system of norms and beliefs (as proven by Henry VIII’s need to form his own church just to get a divorce). The negative connotation surrounding a marriage break-up is just as scandalous today as it was back in the 1500s — remaining as one of the most popular reasons why celebrity couples continuously make headlines.
What is a conscious separation?
To add to the scandal of divorce is conscious uncoupling. Paltrow did not coin the term contrary to popular belief, marriage and family therapist, Katherine Woodward Thomas did. Woodward Thomas’ book, Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After, details the process of separating from your partner as an opportunity for self-growth amidst the mending of a weakened heart, challenging the widely known negative undertones behind divorce.
Yet, in the same way that divorce was once attached to royal family drama centuries ago, conscious uncoupling has been tied to celebrities and billionaires who just want to keep bad press at a minimum. Ella Ceron of New York Magazine writes that the rich and famous could instead follow “the more tried-and-true route: asking that the paparazzi respect [their] family’s privacy” as they finalize their separation.
But as mentioned earlier, conscious uncoupling goes beyond Paltrow and Martin’s squeaky-clean divorce image. It’s about changing the notion of divorce and normalizing the idea that separating can be a willful and sentient decision.
The shame and guilt brought on by the seven-letter word can do more damage than the physical act of separating. To combat remorse, pity, and all other negative connotations encompassing divorce is to work towards the liberating process of consciously uncoupling. The reasons as to why couples separate are usually much larger than the last straw that was drawn to finalize the divorce.
Therefore, to fully understand how individuals within a marriage have changed, self-reflection needs to be implemented. Separating from your spouse does not have to signify the tragic end of a relationship, instead it can be an opportunity for growth on behalf of both parties. Even if the process of separating happens independently, consciously uncoupling will allow you to view the conclusion of your marriage in relation to yourself in a much healthier and positive manner.
Is conscious decoupling healthy?
The current pandemic has significantly altered the realities of daily life. Divorce is no exception as it has gotten increasingly difficult and stressful to file. In their latest interview with a recently separated 35-year old woman, writer Charlotte Cowles of New York Magazine states that “courts are backlogged because of COVID,” concluding that the anonymous interviewee’s divorce won’t be finalized until well after 2021.
The couple does not even speak but will continue to do things separately together, like filing their joint taxes, until the accumulation of divorce cases dies down. Thus, filing for divorce under the current circumstances is much more draining and lengthier than the issues driving couples to separate, but when an individual learns to look at their separation as a volitional and responsive act, they learn to minimize the stress and difficulty associated with divorce. Therefore, conscious uncoupling signifies a retrieval of your sense of control during these uncertain times.
The culture of conscious uncoupling is a revolutionary perspective on marriage, relationships, and break-ups. It’s a redefinition of what family can be and what family can look like. Separated couples who co-parent children no longer have to be seen as a ‘broken family’ since conscious uncoupling allows ex-partners to reconceive their past union as a new relationship independent from their previous marriage.
Fear, sadness, and anger can be channeled into personal growth, allowing an individual to properly heal and confidently move on regardless of the reasons for divorce. The decision to end one chapter of your life should always be looked at as a chance to start a new one – a chapter in which you feel as powerful and as open to love as you did during your previous relationship.
Conscious uncoupling combats the negative aspects tied to divorce that have been brought on by a lack of knowledge and empathy.
If you are in the process of separating and are drawn to the idea of conscious uncoupling, then there are helpful ways to get you on the right path when pursuing your divorce. The soft landing settlement method provided by Divorce the Smartway is the perfect first step towards a clear and mutual separation. Scalable to fit the client’s exclusive needs and circumstances, the soft landing method gives comprehensive information regarding options available to the couple.
It creates an environment that breeds effective communication and deliberation as the attention is centred around a joint priority. The agreement reached using the soft landing settlement method is one that is equal, creating a sense of ownership and authority for both parties.
Conscious uncoupling is a process that involves far more than a simplistic blog post that announces a couple’s separation. It’s a cultural shift in the way society views, pursues and responds to the ending of a marriage. So, regardless of whether celebrity couples will continue to break the internet with their declarations to consciously uncouple, remember that this is just the beginning of a long-time coming transformation towards the societal attitudes of divorce.
Would you like to learn more? Get in touch for a Get Acquainted Call to learn more about finding a separation agreement with a soft landing.
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Rethinking “Lawyering Up”
10 Reasons to Seek Mediation and Financial Guidance First in Divorce
In the throes of a divorce or separation, it’s tempting to seek legal advice immediately – after all, isn’t that what we’re taught to do? However, while legal guidance is crucial, it isn’t necessarily the best first step. Separation and divorce proceedings are about 90% about finances and children rather than purely legal matters. Today, let’s debunk this misconception and explore why it might be better to collaborate with a mediator and CDFA before reaching out to a lawyer.
Timing is Everything
Like in life, timing is everything when it comes to hiring a divorce lawyer. Knowing when to seek legal counsel during a divorce or separation is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome. Here are some key considerations to determine the right time to hire a divorce lawyer:
Control the Process: Working with a mediator and CDFA, you and your spouse maintain control over the process, making decisions collaboratively instead of dictating them by attorneys or the court.
Financial Clarity: A CDFA brings financial expertise to your case, helping you understand financial decisions’ short- and long-term implications.
Comprehensive Disclosure: These professionals guide you in gathering necessary disclosure documents, ensuring no financial stones are left unturned before consulting a lawyer.
Focused Negotiations: Mediators help parties stay focused on their real intentions and the main issues, preventing distractions from the path of resolution.
Cost-Effective: Mediation and financial analysis can often be more cost-effective than immediately “lawyering up” while offering comprehensive guidance.
Reduced Animosity: Opting for mediation first may reduce the antagonism between parties. The traditional “lawyering up” approach can create an adversarial atmosphere that fuels hostility.
Holistic Approach: Mediators and CDFAs consider monetary and non-monetary aspects, such as children’s welfare, providing a more holistic view of your situation.
Informed Legal Decisions: A solid understanding of your finances and intentions empowers you to make more informed decisions when seeking legal advice.
Protection of Rights: The modern family law system ensures your rights are protected – consulting a mediator or CDFA first doesn’t negate this protection.
Better for Children: Focusing on finances and children first helps create a more stable environment during this transition, which is often better for children.
Remember, the goal is to make your divorce or separation as smooth as possible for all involved. Therefore, starting with a mediator and CDFA might not be the traditional route. Still, it could be right for you, providing clarity, control, and a comprehensive view of your situation before you step into a lawyer’s office. As always, every situation is unique, so consider your options carefully and seek the best approach for your family.
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Ken S, Maynard CDFA
The Naked Divorce Filer: Divorce Application
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Each application comes with
Each application comes with its own instructions, information, and documents required to:
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Why divorce lawyers don’t want you knowing about Naked Divorce Filer
A lawyer will typically charge you and your spouse $2,500 for an uncontested divorce. Naked Divorce Filer costs just $599 + HST.
Why the huge price difference?
It’s all down to the legal profession being stuck in the dark ages and failing to use modern technology to drive down costs.
Let’s use banking as an example. 30 years ago, people had to rush to banks on their lunch breaks, queue up with their paycheck and passbook and wait for a teller to take the cheque and deposit it into their account. Then they had to grab some cash to pay for gas and groceries to last the week. Nowadays, it’s amazing how banking technology has revolutionized our lives.
But where’s family law?
Still stuck in that queue 30 years ago.
Lawyers start every divorce application from scratch:
NO time and money-saving online systems.
NO leveraging technology.
SO they charge you $2,500 because they can’t be bothered to modernize.
Would you pay that sort of money for a tax return? NO WAY! Thankfully, you don’t need to because the tax industry has solved many of the complexities surrounding personal income taxes by using technology. Shame the legal profession hasn’t followed suit.
So while lawyers remain technophobes, you can bypass their services with Naked Divorce Filer. It uses technology to reduce the cost of applying for a simple, uncontested divorce.
Pay a lawyer $2500 or use Naked Divorce Filer for $599 + HST? You decide.
About Naked Divorce Filer
Here at Divorce the Smartway, we wanted a smart, simple and cost-effective way for people to get a divorce application without paying ridiculously high legal fees.
The technology exists to make the process hassle-free, and Naked Divorce Filer uses the best of it. Once you’ve completed our online questionnaire, one of our team will get to work preparing your divorce application documents to ensure your application is legally compliant and error-free.
Always a personal touch
Yes, Naked Divorce Filer is an online questionnaire. But our team will always be here to help if you need it at any stage during the process. You will be assigned a document specialist you are free to call or email anytime.
Hi, my name is Ken Maynard.
I am a family court survivor, Family Mediator and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). For 10 years now I have been helping separating couples find their Soft Landing. I look forward to working you.
Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FM
I help smart and successful couples, create separation agreements with clarity and soft landings for secure futures, in 4 meetings or less without all the lawyer created overwhelming conflicts, confusion and costs. You can work with me by video conference or with a DTSW associate at any of our 6 DTSW Greater Toronto mediation centers, including | Aurora | Barrie | North York | Vaughan | Mississauga | Scarborough.
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Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FMhttps://divorcethesmartway.ca/author/wardman/May 23, 2023
Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FMhttps://divorcethesmartway.ca/author/wardman/June 2, 2022
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Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FMhttps://divorcethesmartway.ca/author/wardman/March 17, 2022