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Parenthood Rises Even as Marriage Decreases for the Millennial Generation

The concepts of marriage and parenthood are vastly changing as the Millennial Generation comes of age. The Pew Research Center published a report earlier in the year showing that Millennials – people born between 1977 and 1998 – want parenthood over marriage. The survey showed 52 percent believe that being a good parent is one of their biggest goals. Marriage was only a big goal for 30 percent of people.

As these attitudes have shifted, marriage has become less of a focus. Out of wedlock babies have increased, though. Being a good parent, to Millennials, does not necessarily mean that marriage is a must. Many couples are choosing to delay marriage, live together, and break away from the social norms of their parents.

Even though marriage is delayed or not a preference, when a couple has a child it can make them refocus their priorities. Some decide to create a cohabitation agreement to help spell out their responsibilities and rights as parents and a couple. This can help protect each person and set up a framework should something happen to one of the parents. A modern-day cohabitation agreement includes:

  • each person’s parental rights and duties
  • financial obligations
  • property rights
  • health care directives
  • estate planning and inheritance wishes
  • how long the agreement is good for and/or how it can be revised

For some Millennials, this is a good warm-up to getting married. The agreement helps safeguard each person yet also sets out how each person will be looked after. As a couple establishes more assets, property, and moves up in the work world, it can be a critical document to help them create a prenuptial agreement once it is time to get married.

Sometimes, though, the cohabitation and relationship does not work out, even if there is a child that both parents mutually love and want to care for. In these instances, the cohabitation agreement can provide a path for the main caregiver to receive child support. It will also help to modify each parent’s duties and set up a visitation agreement that both parties can agree to. For couples that can amicably agree on the parenting agreement, litigation is not necessary. A family law attorney can assist in creating a plan that the courts will approve for child custody and the visitation schedule.

Gerald A. Maggio is an Orange County family law attorney, in Irvine, California. To learn more about Orange County family law attorney, Gerald A. Maggio, visit Maggiolawfirm.com or call (949) 553-0304.

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