What's Taking So Long with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's Divorce? The Latest on Their Legal Uncoupling

Chris Martin has yet to respond to Gwyneth Paltrow's divorce petition from last year, according to legal docs obtained by PEOPLE

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty; Trae Patton/NBC

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin consciously uncoupled two years ago, but the legal side of their split is still a work in progress.

While Paltrow filed for divorce way back on April 20, 2015, it turns out that Martin has yet to respond to her petition – and now a judge is getting involved.

According to court docs obtained by PEOPLE, the actress may now be eligible for a default judgment, which normally means she’d be entitled to everything she asked for in her original petition.

But so far, there is no sign Paltrow will take advantage of Martin’s default, especially considering the amicable nature of their split. More likely, they’re still working out the details of their divorce privately.

Both parents seem to be on the same page when it comes to their kids and will most likely settle on some form of joint custody for Apple, 11, and Moses, 9.

In addition, the former couple have been keeping their divorce out of the courts. Paltrow’s original petition was filed without a lawyer, and both exes are leaving the division of their assets up to their business managers.

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“Many Hollywood divorces are handled this way,” California divorce expert Steve Mindel tells PEOPLE. “Chris and Gwyneth are trying to protect their children by keeping their divorce private by using mediation, private judges and business managers for finances.

And even with Martin’s delay in responding to the petition, Mindel contends that the timeframe is currently par for the course.

“Typically, divorces in California, even when parties are amicable, usually run 8-18 months,” he explains.

Moving forward, Martin has 60 days to respond to the petition. Assuming he does so, the courts will eventually finalize the divorce, “but the actual settlement and parenting plan probably won’t be entered into the court” and will instead be handled by the ex-couple’s team of business managers and lawyers, Mindel says.

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