On 25th March actress Gwyneth Paltrow and rock star Chris Martin of Coldplay fame announced on Gwyneth’s website goop.com in a joint statement that they decided to separate.

Gwyneth and Chris have been married for over ten years.  In their statement Gwyneth and Chris described that they hoped to “consciously uncouple”.  This phraseology seems to come from Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami who also wrote on the blog about “conscious uncoupling” stating that “Divorce is a traumatic and difficult decision for all parties involved” but go to say that what divorce might mean is learning “a new way to be in a relationship”.  It seems that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are trying to approach their relationship breakdown in a positive way.

That said Gwyneth and Chris will have some serious decisions to make as to what their next steps are.  The couple have two children, five properties and a rumoured combined net worth of around $147,000,000.

Last year Gwyneth and Chris relocated from London to Los Angeles.  This was apparently a move that Chris was not fond of as he disliked the L.A. lifestyle.

Allegedly Chris has told Gwyneth he wants to move back to native England with their two children Apple and Moses once the school year is over.  If Chris were wishing to do this then he will need to have Gwyneth’s permission to relocate with the children, or failing her giving him her permission he will need an Order from the Court to allow him to move back with the children as the children are now be deemed to be habitual residents of the U.S.  Gwyneth and Chris will have to resolve in which country each of them and the children will live.  It bodes well that in their statement they expressed “we are parents first and foremost to two incredibly wonderful children” and they referred to wanting to continue to “co-parent” the children.  This suggests that they may apply to the Court for the equivalent of what in England is currently termed as ‘Shared Residence’, (although the law in relation to this is in a state of flux).

The parties will also have a choice as to where to start divorce proceedings.  Possibly they could start divorce proceedings in England and Wales but also could do so in the U.S.  The U.S. legal system differs from state to state so presumably Californian law would apply.  That is substantially different to English law.

It is understood that the parties own a property in Belsize Park worth around £7,000,000, they have just purchased a $14,000,000 Malibu beach house, and they own a property in the upmarket Brentwood area of Los Angeles in which they are currently living, said to be worth $10,000,000.  They own a loft apartment in the Tribeca area of New York, and a summer home in the Hamptons.  The couple could either divide up the properties between them, or the properties could be sold and the proceeds of sale divided between them as part of any settlement.  All this may be subject to any pre and post-nuptial agreements.

In recent years there have been many celebrity divorces which have turned into public spectacles – a most recent example being that of Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi – it bodes well that this notoriously private pair intend dealing with matters in an amicable way from the outset.

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