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Trendy, celeb-inspired term inspires larger divorce trend

Love them or hate them, it can't be denied that celebrities tend to inspire pop culture with trendy buzzwords or phrases. One of the most recent examples involves actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin, whose divorce has sparked the term "conscious uncoupling."

Once the term entered the pop culture stratosphere, it took off as a way to describe a peaceful, rather than antagonistic, end of a marriage. Not surprisingly, then, the term is now associated with divorce mediation. In mediation, which is available to divorcing couples in Texas, decisions are made with the whole family in mind, rather than with one spouse's interests pitted against the other. Mediation seems to be increasingly popular, as today fewer than 5 percent of divorces actually proceed to a trial stage.

It's easy to see why mediation is an attractive alternative for many divorcing spouses. Spouses can create plans for property division, as well as some matters pertaining to children. The attorneys who work with spouses in mediation are specially trained in the practice, and understand that the process is not a battle but instead a group endeavor.

One of the many helpful aspects of mediation is that it can be used to handle decisions both big and small. For instance, who will keep the family home is usually one of the more significant questions in property division, and it can be addressed effectively in mediation. At the same time, smaller details that spouses themselves might overlook can also be brought up and decided upon in mediation. One example might be the method in which spouses will communicate post-divorce. Some may want to prefer to put things in writing via e-mail, while others might enjoy the efficiency of a phone call. While these might seem like inconsequential details at first, mediation professionals know they can morph into problems down the line.

Fortunately, mediation gives each spouse the opportunity to communicate their concerns to each other and to themselves. In addition, it offers a comfortable space in which professionals can bring up topics that spouses might overlook on their own, or that could get lost in the tangle of a trial. Mediation might not work for every single divorcing couple in Texas, but it is one way to keep things together even if a marriage falls apart.

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

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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