November 1, 2015/by Robyn Myler Mann
Many attorneys, mediators, judges and soothsayers make predictions on the future of divorce. As a child of divorce, a mediator and matrimonial attorney, my perspective, while not unique, has been finely tuned by my life experiences and my clients. Here’s what I see:
Prediction: Family Structure Evolves Dramatically
I predict a changed future for families. In this future, there will be less marriage. Instead, there will be an emphasis on strong families, whatever the configuration. Two parents, kids, pets, homes, maybe even different states, will become the norm. But all will be sharing a life that looks dramatically different from the nuclear family of the past, and is equally, if not more, satisfying and successful.
Divorce is in a state of flux. This flux is attracting entrepreneurs who are developing businesses to meet the emerging demands of divorcing couples. CEO and founder of Wevorce, Satayan Mahajan said here that “Divorce as a field is ripe for disruption.” This trend is slated to continue and grow. People are desperate to uncover ways to live as families without the strife of divorce.
Prediction: Mediation Becomes a Major Familial Force
More people will be seeking mediation services to help them divorce. Mediation, with its emphasis on uncovering true interests and developing a collaborative viewpoint, is the best way to address the needs of our families in distress. As society develops a more mature understanding of family dynamics during divorce – namely that it’s the family that is separating during a divorce, we will need great mediators to help preserve families in creative and healthy ways.
Family is an all-important structure in a healthy society. It provides security, funnels resources and supports the growth of individuals, particularly children. I predict that mediation will be society’s greatest contribution to family. And, in the changed future where family is emphasized over the individual needs of the parents, mediation will be the way that families manage change.
The family model is evolving to fit the needs of a society in flux. As the apparatus of connecting a familial unit becomes more complicated, so does the apparatus of disconnecting families that are no longer healthy. Mediation, especially, is set to become a popular tool, utilizing modern techniques to meet the needs of any modern family.
Robyn Myler Mann is an attorney and mediator. Learn more