The Positive Influence The Media is Having on Divorce (Really!)

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

Now Millennials are Ruining Divorce Too – Forbes

I recently explained how millennials are making prenuptial agreements the norm – again, a response to growing up as children of divorce with single parents and wanting something different in their own marriage.

Today, when millennials do decide to divorce, they are making conscious decisions to avoid the nasty, litigated divorces that their parents subjected them to. They know that’s not what they want for their family. Instead, they’re looking for guidance about how to divorce from the media, pop culture, literature and celebrities:

Reality TV: Gina from Real Housewives of Orange County, on Bravo:

“Although we don’t have this romantic connection anymore, it doesn’t mean you can’t be family anymore. This idea that you’re divorced and no longer family to me is so backwards and dated and old school and I refuse to subscribe to it and we’re doing the best that we can to keep our family together. It just looks different now.”

Lifestyle Newsletters: Goop defined the term Conscious Uncoupling during the celebrity divorce of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin:

“the ability to understand that every irritation and argument within a relationship was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing… When we understand that both are actually partners in each other’s spiritual progress, animosity dissolves much quicker and a new paradigm for conscious uncoupling emerges, replacing the traditional, contentious divorce.” 

Books: When Life Gives You Lulu Lemons: a 2018 best-selling novel by Lauren Weisberger:

“Lots of therapy. Supposedly this is how our generations separates, did you know that? We are all so knackered from our parents’ vicious divorce battles that we refuse to subject our own children to it. We don’t even put down our ex-partners, can you image? Just support and kindness and ‘family love.’”

Scripted Television SeriesSplitting Up Together on ABC Television:

“Birdnesting is when you get a divorce, and you keep the family home. And the children live in it, and the parents switch off each week.” 

Joint Public Statements: Actors Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum announced their divorce to People magazine:

“They assured fans that “absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another,” but they’re taking different paths. And they’re “just two best-friends realizing it’s time to take some space.” 

What’s Behind These Amicable Celebrity Divorces?

Many of the amicable divorces portrayed in the media are collaborative divorces or mediated divorces – think of the recent divorce finalized by actors Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. After 3 years of private divorce and child custody negotiations, they quietly dissolved their marriage in one afternoon when they were both ready to move forward. A privately negotiated divorce simply does not make headlines, and often catches us off guard. When Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton and her husband announced they had finalized their divorce 9 months earlier it made headlines – simply because the public wasn’t aware and there was no media drama surrounding the “secret” dissolution of their marriage.

Divorce is hard but if your goal is to limit the animosity and do what’s best for your family’s future, that’s completely possible. Use these media examples of divorce to determine how you do want or don’t want to divorce, and then do what’s best for your family.

One of the significant benefits of non-adversarial, collaborative divorce or divorce mediation is that you can dissolve your marriage without litigation. Divorce resolutions can be reached amicably – with privacy, control and discretion. Unlike a traditional litigated divorce where legal guidelines, judge’s calendars and lawyer’s win/lose attitudes, in mediation and the collaborative law process there are no judge’s calendar or deadlines to dictate how fast or slow the process will move. This flexibility is a benefit that many couples want for their divorce because they know they will be able to take the time they need in order to produce an agreement that reflects their unique situation.

Does a non-adversarial divorce using the collaborative process or mediation sound like the best option for you and your family? Contact us for more information about divorcing in a way that works best for you.