It appears that 2015 may be the year of the amicable divorce for many couples. It appears that several people who have amicably divorced (or, amicably filed for divorce) have gotten into the habit of taking a “selfie” and posting same, only for same to go viral. For those of you who are not internet savvy, when something goes “viral” it refers to lots and lots of users viewing and sharing a photograph, video, article, etc. on the internet.
The Washington Post was the most recent news outlet to report on the divorce “selfie” viral craze, featuring a couple smiling and happy after amicably filing for divorce in Calgary, Alberta after filing for divorce. The couple shared that among other things, they hope to co-parent together and that they hope that their children will never have to worry about picking “between” them. It also appears that there are hundreds of photographs of these “selfies” appearing online, and that they can be found by searching the hashtag “#divorceselfies”.
As a divorce attorney who sees people at their worst, this is entirely uplifting and it is wonderful to see those who approach divorce in a way that is constructive rather than destructive. The truth of the matter is that once you have two parents, whether you are married or not, the other person always exists and they matter. They don’t go away, just as children don’t go away. Taking the perspective that divorce is a good thing is not always possible, and it is always sad, no matter how amicable, but the way that couples are going about it in these situations gives a lot of perspective. I think it is also important to put out there that not every divorce is going to make an otherwise amicable divorce situation worse. Hiring an attorney does not mean that things have to be mean or nasty. Attorney’s jobs are to advise their client on the law as well as the legal implications of any potential agreement. I would stress that simply because a divorce is amicable doesn’t mean there is no need for legal counsel. I know that when I have a party that comes to me and tells me that everything is settled I am happy to advise them on the settlement and draft the requisite legal documents to get the marriage dissolved without causing a stir. Hopefully these new attitudes towards divorce will continue to spread and create peace for these families rather than havoc.