"Conscious uncoupling" is basically a more accurate and positive way to describe mediated divorce. The term also applies to separating couples who aren't married but are tied together financially, or as co-parents, or due to common-marriage laws.
Like mediation, conscious uncoupling is a way to resolve differences related to your divorce without going through litigation. Because of the cooperative nature of mediation, separating or divorcing couples tend to avoid emotional trauma and long court battles. While you concentrate on keeping things civil, your attorney can make sure the terms of the divorce are fair.
Is this approach right for you?
In order to proceed, you must have a relatively amicable relationship with your partner and be able to communicate with and about them in a civil manner. Both of you have to want to settle your divorce in this way; it doesn't work if one you is uncooperative, bitter or can't get past something that happened during your marriage.
As a Huffington Post article points out, you must also want to put your children first. If you and your partner can keep in mind that what's best for the children is best for everyone, you're likely a candidate for conscious uncoupling.
It's more important to always do right than to always be right. It's time to stop arguing and let some things go. If you are able to focus on the future and maintain a good relationship with your partner - for the family or just for yourself - conscious uncoupling may be your best option.
How does conscious uncoupling work?
If you and your partner agree to the process, you will typically meet six to 10 times to discuss the terms of your divorce. Most couples meet on neutral territory with a mediator or their attorneys present.
Together, you create a settlement document and, if applicable, a co-parenting agreement. The objective is to positively discuss and agree to details regarding division of property, custody and visitation, finances and the like. Your attorney can help you draft documents and file the papers; you may not even have to go to court at all.
What are the benefits?
Litigating your divorce in court can be stressful, emotional and very expensive. Conscious uncoupling isn't necessarily easy, but it does save time and money. Typically, it's also a better experience for everyone involved.
An experienced family and divorce lawyer can help you through the process and keep an eye on what is in your best interest.