Last year actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin made the Internet explode by announcing the end of their ten-year marriage. It wasn’t the fact that the famous couple was calling it quits that raised such a ruckus; instead, it was the term they used to refer to the split. They didn’t call it a divorce; it was a “conscious uncoupling.”
Which is a fancy, self-important way of saying what other people have been saying for years: they were getting an uncontested divorce.
What is an uncontested divorce, exactly? No one gets married expecting the relationship to end, but if a separation is on the horizon, an uncontested divorce is the most desirable kind. It’s the least expensive, the least time-consuming, and the least emotionally devastating for all parties involved. The divorce process is notoriously messy–the average length of divorce proceedings in the United States is one year–but when both parties agree on the larger issues like custody arrangements, property division, and spousal support, an uncontested divorce through a good family law attorney can save a family a lot of heartache.
Each year over one million Americans have parents that officially separate or sign divorce papers. Every single year. For spouses-to-be, examining divorce statistics can sometimes feel like interpreting a horoscope. What are my chances? Good? Bad? Do I even dare to think about getting married? On which day? Under what phase of the moon? (Divorce statistics show that February is the worst month to marry in. Thanks for nothing, Cupid.) Successful marriages can seem like pure luck: it’s a well-known fact that nearly half of all first time marriages (41%, to be exact) end in divorce, but that leaps to a dreary 60% for a second marriage and a bouquet-crushing, bow tie-choking 75% for third marriages. Even divorce rates for people over the age of 50 are on the rise: they’ve doubled in the last 20 years. Some people really are staying together for the kids–being empty-nesters means not having to take a long, hard look for the right attorney for child custody cases.
Before you call off the wedding and get tipsy on that case of champagne you ordered for your nuptials, consider the positive statistics: marriages are much more likely to succeed when both partners are more mature (say, out of their 20s), have earned a degree from a higher learning institute, and are financially stable as individuals and as a couple. Living together before marriage has been disproven as an indicator of later divorce, so pack up that moving truck and learn how to deal with each other’s toothpaste globs in the sink and weird leftovers-cum-science experiments in the refrigerator. At the very least, learning to live with each other now means that you’ll respect each other as people later, in case you happen to trip and fall underneath that 41% umbrella. The best divorce advice is that an uncontested divorce is the way to go.
Unless you’d rather call it a “conscious uncoupling,” but “divorce attorney” is a little more useful to Google.