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April 27, 2021 Roundup

Recent family-related news highlighted the positive role a therapist can play: for couples, even before problems arise and to help parents break the news of their divorce to their children. Also of note is: the answer to the question regarding how many legal parents can a child have in New York State; reasons behind the steep rise in ‘gray divorce’; and a look at ‘parenting coordination’ – a fairly new tool for high conflict couples.

By Joseph R. Williams, The New York State Bar Association, April 6, 2021

Currently in New York State the answer depends on where in New York your family is being created. The Appellate Division appears to be of several minds on the matter – the Fourth Department recently ruled that there can only be two parents – no matter what – but other Departments have disagreed, authorizing and approving “tri-parentage” arrangements wherein three adults have been deemed legal parents of a child.

Stacy Francis,, April 12, 2021

The author writes: “At a time when divorce is becoming less common for Millennials, so-called “gray divorce” is on the rise for Baby Boomers. According to the Pew Research Center, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s for American adults ages 50 and older. But why? The climbing rate stems from a host of societal factors, and it has significant financial implications, especially for women.”

Brianna Holt, The New York Times, April 13, 2021

“Therapy doesn’t always mean a relationship is at its breaking point. Many couples are seeking to address difficult issues before conflict arises…One misconception surrounding couples therapy, Dr. Katz said, is that people should only go when they’re in a severe crisis, toward the end of their relationship.”

Caroline Bologna, Huff Post, April 15, 2021

Experts weigh in on how you should break the news to your children, and how to help them adjust to your family’s new normal. One expert shares: “This is a grown-up decision and you’re still a family, but you’re just going to be a different kind of family,” said psychotherapist Kathryn Smerling.

Patricia Fersch, Forbes, April 16, 2021

Parenting Coordination is a relatively new practice used in some states to manage ongoing issues in high-conflict child custody and visitation matters by a trained mental health professional or a lawyer assigned by the court or agreed to by the parents. A qualified and trained parenting coordinator can be a successful tool in post custody litigation working with parents.

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