Divorce? Conscious Uncoupling is what Gwyneth Paltrow and spouse Chris Martin (lead singer for Cold Play) called it in an announcement. It sounds like what we on the East Coast call simply a “divorce.”
Most marital dissolution cases are not OVERLY contentious. People may have a different idea of what “fair” looks like but most people are respectful of each other and want to end things on an amicable basis. But, people don’t usually talk about situations where people are respectful and come to agreements. That is boring. People only talk about the unpleasant and litigious.
The phrase “conscious uncoupling” seems to have been coined by a pair of mental health people working with the Paltrow/Martin team, Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami. Apparently, they concede it is a divorce but characterize it as a “good” divorce.
Of course, everything is easier if both parties agree. We have always called that an “amicable divorce” or an “uncontested divorce”. We are not sure why we need a new descriptive phrase.