The Rise of the ‘Good Divorce’


Most marriages don’t break up in a single, recognizable moment. It’s more like an irreversible fraying of the bonds between two people who are entwined in a thousand small ways. This is why separating can get so ugly, especially if children are involved. A former partner is now an adversary, a competitor for finite resources, someone to avoid.

Or at least that’s how the story used to go. Last year, when Gwyneth Paltrow split from Chris Martin, her husband of 10 years, she introduced us to the concept of “conscious uncoupling”–what her website described as a way for divorcing parents “to be partners in each other’s spiritual progress,” for the kids’ sake as well as their own. At the time, she was mocked, mostly for using such a superior-sounding phrase. But it’s become increasingly clear that the philosophy of collaboration has gained momentum beyond the celebrity sphere. For Gen X-ers…

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