divorce rate dropped for the third year in a row, reaching its lowest point in
nearly 40 years,” reported
Time Magazine on Dec. 04, 2016. Even still, when you look at your Facebook account,
it may seem like your friends, family, and co-workers are still getting
divorced everywhere you turn. You may even see couples who are using the
hashtag #DivorceSelfie on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
In March 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow introduced the catchy term, “conscious
uncoupling” when she publicly announced the she and Chris Martin
were separating. Little did she know at the time that the term was going
to strike a nerve. Apparently, conscious uncoupling was a concept that
couples everywhere were drawn to, and they were using it to put a positive
spin to their divorces.
Whether or not Paltrow could be credited for this shift in attitude about
divorce is debatable; however, many divorcées would agree that
their splits were more tolerable because they decided to maintain a positive
attitude towards their spouses and the divorce process as a whole. In
fact, many couples decided to post divorce selfies on social media to
show the world, “We’re getting a divorce, but we’re
happy about it and we’re still friends.”
Marie Frenette posted a divorce selfie on Instagram that read, “Today
Cory and I did the final paperwork for our divorce after 3 years together
and eight months married.” Frenette told ATTN: that they saw an article on BuzzFeed about divorce selfies, and said,
“Wow, what a positive and empowering way to deal with it. Not hiding,
not feeling shame.” Frenette’s not the only one, if you search
the hashtag #DivorceSelfie on Instagram, hundreds of similar posts will turn up.
Reasons Behind Divorce Selfies
Often, divorce selfies are taken at the courthouse. In the images, couples
are smiling, acting uncharacteristically “happy” about their
divorce. While it only takes seconds to snap these pictures, they send
a powerful message to the world about how such couples are approaching
their divorces. Couples are showing a united front, and instead of letting
the divorce tear them down, they’re maintaining a positive outlook about it.
Historically, “divorce” has been a dirty little word that people
were ashamed about. But, in recent years, some couples have decided to
be completely positive about their divorces. About his divorce selfie,
Guy Johnson told ATTN, “I posted it and tagged it because I’m
a pretty open book and I wanted people to know that for us it was a happy
occasion that we did out of love.” He went on to say that his wife,
Tracey, went from his life partner to a (hopefully) lifelong partner and
Positive Divorce is Better for Kids Too
According to the
American Psychological Association, “Divorce can be a traumatic experience for children,” but
most of them adjust within about two years of the divorce. However, “during
a divorce, parents can do a lot to ease the child’s transition,”
says the APA. What can parents do? The APA’s advice: “Do your
best to keep any conflict away from kids,” and we couldn’t
agree more with the statement.
When parents have a positive divorce where they treat each other with dignity
and respect, it’s much easier on their children. If for no other
reason, parents can agree to have a friendly divorce for the sake of their
children. After all, it’s far more time-efficient and cost-effective
to have a collaborative divorce than it is to have a high-conflict divorce
that siphons the marital estate, drags on in court for months if not years
on end, and drains the positive energy out of the spouses.
How Can We Have a Healthy Divorce?
How can you have a healthy divorce? For starters, decide not to view your
breakup as a battle against your spouse. Consider
divorce mediation or a
collaborative divorce, both of which avoid litigation. You and your spouse may want to consider
therapy during the divorce process, and you should surround yourselves
with a strong support network. Since divorce can be emotionally, physically,
and financially stressful (even with positive divorces), this is a great
time to take a little time off, and to focus on your physical and emotional
Some great ways to take care of yourself during a divorce:
- If you have children, spend loads of quality time with them.
- Eat well, get plenty of rest, and exercise.
- Avoid consuming too much alcohol and processed foods. Instead, focus on
a “clean diet” rich in organic produce, meats, nuts and seeds.
- Do more of what you love, such as hiking, yoga, camping, surfing, working
out, reading, visiting museums, travelling, etc.
- Consider training for a marathon – it’s a great way to reduce
stress and get in shape at the same time.
- Volunteer at your favorite charities.
- Focus on getting in the best financial shape of your life.
Communication & Cooperation Are Keys to Success
In order to achieve a positive divorce, complete with “conscious
uncoupling” Paltrow style, communication and cooperation will be
your keys to success. When you and your spouse agree to have a healthy
divorce, that one decision will provide long-lasting benefits for all
involved, including any children from the marriage.
For many spouses, taking a divorce selfie where the couple is happy and
smiling shows the world that they are cooperating and communicating, and
it helps the spouses reinforce the fact that getting a divorce is no longer
considered the “end of the world” like it once was.
Whether you anticipate a friendly or a contested divorce, our compassionate
Los Angeles divorce lawyers at Claery & Hammond, LLPare here to help.
Contact us today!