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#divorceselfie: The New Staying Together for the Kids

 Posted on October 29, 2015 in Divorce

selfie, divorce, Illinois family law attorneyEarlier this summer, a snapshot quickly made the rounds on social media that raised a few eyebrows but created some very interesting discussions on the state of marriage and divorce in North America. It also has started a sort of copycat trend, with hundreds of similar images having been posted to Facebook and Instagram in the weeks since.

Photographic Commitment

The viral photo was of a Canadian couple who stopped for a smiling selfie—a self-shot photograph taken with a cellphone camera—in front of the sign on the Calgary, Alberta, municipal court building. Their happy faces and comfort together suggested that they just made a life commitment to one another. In fact, they had, but not the one you might think. The couple had just filed for divorce, but took the photo as a symbol that they had made the right decision and that they would continue to work closely together in raising their children.

"We have respectfully, thoughtfully and honourably [sic] ended our marriage in a way that will allow us to go forward as parenting partners for our children," the caption read. "They’ll never have to wonder which side of the auditorium to run to after their Christmas concert or spring play, because we’ll be sitting together." The couple had responsibly accepted the fact that they were not compatible as marital partners, but that it should affect their ability to be effective, cooperative parents. The hashtag, #divorceselfie started being echoed around the social media world as other couples in the midst of amicable—friendly, in some cases—divorces shared photos of their own.

Evolving Opinions on Divorce

The divorce selfie trend and the philosophy behind it represent a fairly radical departure from previous generations’ approach to divorce. Rather than viewing the end of a marriage as a tragedy or failure, more and more couples see it as a transition, to be approached without shame and with as little negativity as possible. According to experts, conscious uncoupling may even be beneficial to the divorcing couple’s children.

Over the years, "staying together for the kids" has kept many couples in unhappy, unhealthy marital situations. The stress and anxiety of such marriages, though, can have a stronger negative impact on children than dealing with the realities of a mature, responsible divorce. Children in bad family realities are not necessarily better off, and a cooperative, but separate, parenting arrangement can offer a much healthier alternative.

If you are considering an uncontested divorce in Illinois, whether you plan to take a divorce selfie or not, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney at A. Traub & Associates. We can help you and your spouse reach an agreeable divorce agreement that will allow to being your new lives as parenting partners without the stress and hassle of a difficult divorce proceeding. Call us today to schedule an appointment.


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