Recent headlines in newspapers, magazines and on television proclaim that millennials are causing lower divorce rates than previous generations, in large part because of what they have seen in their own parents’ divorces and how divorce has traditionally been portrayed in the media.

Millennials are Causing the US Divorce Rate to Plummet – CBS News

You Can Thank Millennials for the Declining Divorce Rate, Study Says – Huffington Post

Today almost half of all births in the United States occur outside of marriage. This is the new normal but the law hasn’t necessarily caught up. Laws vary by state on parental rights for non-married parents. In New York, biological parents do not have automatic parental rights or obligations to their children, including child support and child custody, or the right to make important decisions about the child’s future such as education, health care and religion. Parents either have to agree on these issues, or a court will do it for them.

Healthy co-parenting that stems from thoughtful agreements you’ve made together is in the best interests of your child and makes both the parents and the child feel secure. If you have a child and are not legally married to the other biological parent, you need legal protection to clearly define each parent’s rights and responsibilities.

A well-written parenting and child support agreement is a roadmap of how you will raise and support your child together while living in separate homes and will help you avoid costly, stressful and time-consuming litigation.

A divorce coach is often a vital, but perhaps lesser known, member of the team you will be putting together as you move forward with your divorce. I recommend divorce coaches in all my cases because they help my clients get clear on their goals and concerns, communicate more effectively, advocate for themselves more productively, and not get trapped in the same dysfunctional patterns of behavior with their spouse that was ever-present during their marriage.

Divorce coaches help people to get through their divorce process. Divorce coaching is not therapy or counseling, it is support and guidance for someone going through divorce so they can make better decisions instead of emotional decisions:

  • communicate more effectively with your spouse and attorney

When you married your spouse, you were swept away by his or her charms. Now that you’re divorcing, you may be concerned that mediation won’t be the right process because you’re convinced that your spouse will sway the mediator in his or her favor. As professional divorce mediators, we can assure you: we will not be swayed by your soon-to-be-ex’s magnetism.

Although your spouse may have what you consider to be wit, wealth or good looks that have allowed him or her to move through life with ease, we assure you that when you are in the mediation room, we see you as just two people who are trying to do the right thing while making hard decisions during a very difficult time in your lives.

As divorce mediators, we are neutral, impartial professionals working on behalf of both of you. The goal is to help you to find a way to resolve your marital conflicts and dissolve your marriage with terms that you each feel are fair and equitable. Unlike your divorce attorney who is there to advocate for you, we are trained to stay neutral to help you find mutual ground and the best solution for your unique situation.

Over the past few years, my law and mediation practice has seen a significant increase in requests for prenuptial agreements. A recent New York Times article The Rise of the Millennial Prenup cites the following contributing factors for the increase: millennials are marrying later, they are bringing more assets to the marriage and more women are in the workforce. According to an AAML survey (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers), 51% of divorce attorneys are seeing prenuptial agreements on the rise in the millennial generation, with the most cited issues:

• 78% protection of separate property

• 74% alimony/spousal maintenance

As a divorce lawyer, my days are spent untangling the married lives of people who no longer want to be married, and who sometimes should never have gotten married in the first place. In a recent New York Times article Single at 38? Have That Baby, the author shares her decision to deliberately get pregnant and have a child at 39, without being married or even in a relationship.

A marriage of convenience is in fact often highly inconvenient. The decision to have a child is a very personal one. Times have changed, and the decision for a single woman to have a child does not mandate marriage. The myth that a child is both financially and emotionally better off with two parents is often just that: a myth.

Single parenthood isn’t always a choice, but for women who are unmarried and hearing their biological clock ticking away during the last years of their 30s, choosing to become a single parent can be a preferable option to getting married solely in order to get pregnant and have a child.

Dissolving a marriage or partnership is never easy: divorce and mediation are never stress-free. Many factors need to be considered, decisions need to be made and plans need to be mutually agreed upon. Your divorce lawyer is an integral part of ending your marriage, but there is a lot you can do on your own to plan for your divorce and make decisions about the future of your family.

Books, articles and support groups provide information, resources and assistance in helping you manage your divorce and consider issues that you aren’t yet aware of, or need more information on. There are many good resources available by parenting experts, therapists and psychologists, financial planners, and divorce and mediation lawyers that can help you navigate your own divorce.

Note: Vacca Law receives no affiliate or referral fees;

Couples who are divorcing strive to make decisions in the best interest of the children. However, co-parenting after a divorce is challenging and parents are people too: sometimes they make bad decisions when it comes to their children which they later come to regret. You can avoid causing your child the anxiety and pain of parental alienation by avoiding these specific actions.

1. Do not speak negatively about the other parent or his or her family.

It’s likely that your list of grievances with your ex-spouse and ex-in-laws will be long and complicated, but your child does not need to know that.  This is true even if there was physical or emotional abuse in your relationship that the child witnessed first-hand. A therapist who understands child development can help you determine exactly how you should talk to your child about what he or she witnessed based on your family’s unique circumstances.