Unless you live on another planet, you can’t have missed the media furore that surrounded former Hollywood golden couple Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s announcement that they’d decided to separate in March 2014.

What was interesting though was the phrase they used to describe their separation; the now infamous ‘conscious uncoupling’ which Gwyneth announced on her lifestyle website, Goop. The former couple’s statement is set out in full below:

“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 coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”

 Although the terminology may be different, we can’t help but feel that Chris and Gwyneth’s approach; of putting their family first, continued coparenting and dedication to maintaining a close relationship, has similarities with what we try to achieve with clients during the collaborative law process.

As collaborative law practitioners we are dedicated to open, ongoing discussions, to involving all relevant parties, and to reaching sensible and amicable decisions during the course of separation after marriage.

If the former couple have been able to apply these practices to their own relationship, they may well find that they can continue to remain on good terms in the years to come, and to coparent successfully in ongoing partnership. We hope so, and we wish them both the very best of luck for the future.