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February 10, 2021 Roundup

Recent family-related news included the growing popularity of prenups among Millennials; a new law passed in NYS which allows for financial compensation for Surrogates; and a focus on the importance of “civility” when divorcing and thereafter, especially as it relates to the mental health of the children involved.

Alan Mozes, USNEWS, January 19, 2021 Kids who see their parents bicker during a separation or divorce are more likely to develop a fear of abandonment, new research warns…“We found that exposure to conflict predicted children’s fear that they would be abandoned by one or both parents,” said lead author Karey O’Hara…“In turn, children who reported higher fear of abandonment were more likely to report more mental health problems 11 months later”…Dr. Anne Glowinski, said parents should know that good parenting after divorce means owning their contributions to conflict, and seeking help if they aren’t able to control and mitigate conflict on their own.

Millennials Embrace Prenups—but Through a Very Different Lens Than in the Past Cheryl Winokur Munk, The Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2021 In the past, prenups were most common among young adults from wealthy families or couples entering second or third marriages. Today, younger adults of all income levels are drafting them, not only to protect assets accumulated before and during marriage but to address societal realities that weren’t necessarily present or common years ago, such as a desire to keep finances separate, student debt, social-media use, embryo ownership and even pet care.

Will Mediation And Private Judges End The Uncivility Of In-Court Family Law Litigation Post COVID? Patricia Fersch, Forbes, January 28, 2021 The increase in child custody and child support disputes between parents separating or divorcing has been tantamount to small uncivil wars conducted at first in the home and then flowing into courtrooms across the globe…From increases in mediation and an expansion of arbitration, ADR and “private judging” across the globe, there is a movement to bring civility to the often “uncivil” practice of family law…FamilyKind, a not-for-profit service offering mediation service on a sliding scale reported an increase in its mediation services of over 100% over the year prior…

Manage Your Divorce Expectations Courtney Rubin, The New York Times, January 30, 2021 The coronavirus crisis has inspired what seems to be a surge of divorces in the United States, a pattern also seen in China, Britain and Sweden. There are the expected reasons, such as increased domestic pressures and upended routines that may have once masked marriage problems. And there are the less obvious ones, like the bread-winning spouse who toyed with the idea of divorce now moving forward because it makes financial sense…Kathleen Bar-Tur, a NYC mediator, said she has several couples who disappeared two or three years ago who have returned during the pandemic, wanting to push forward because they’ve had time to reflect.

Couple Forced to Adopt Their Own Children After a Surrogate Pregnancy Maria Cramer, The New York Times, January, 31, 2021 Surrogacy laws are a state-by-state patchwork, said Richard Vaughn, a founding partner of the International Fertility Law Group in Los Angeles. Some states have comprehensive laws that explain the rights of a surrogate and the people who intend to be the parents, while other states have no laws about surrogacy, he said. In 2020, New York passed a law that lifted its ban against compensating women who act as surrogates.

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