The trend of the ‘good divorce’

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — When “I do” becomes “We don’t” — there’s not a whole lot people dread more.

“It’s unbelievably difficult. If they go to war, it can last generations,” said Greensboro Family Law Mediator Trey Gray III. “The courtroom is supposed to be adversarial. It’s just really expensive, public and is often far more painful that it needs to be.”

A few high profile celeb splits recently have gotten people talking about a new trend, what’s being called the “good divorce.” Gwyneth Paltrow was mocked for calling her divorce a “conscious uncoupling.” Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner vacationed together as a family after announcing their separation. Here locally, it may not be called “conscious uncoupling,” but the trend here is of the same sentiment. The idea is to make divorce as painless as possible for each other, but especially for the kids.

Nesting is becoming more common. That’s when the kids stay in the marital home and the parents switch, usually a week at a time. “Then the kids don’t have to move, they can stay in the same school, same extracurriculars and friends,” said Gray.

“People seem to really want to resolve their issues without a big battle. I am seeing that more. For themselves, but especially for the kids,” said Gray. “Otherwise, if it’s a protracted legal battle, it can drain 501(k)s, retirement accounts, everything to do battle. It definitely doesn’t have to be that way. Mediation is private and confidential and can be completed in as little as one session. It’s also usually much more satisfying for both parties to come to an agreement this way and it’s so much less expensive than going to court. Mediation isn’t easy emotionally by any means, but it’s better than the alternative, for sure.”

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