Would you take a “divorce selfie”?

Divorce, Bizarre, NakedLaw, Relationships

Wedding ring coffins. Divorce eulogy services. Divorce parties. Divorce transition specialists. There are plenty of unconventional methods for coping with divorce. But if you want to be trendy, without incurring any expense, consider the latest fad: the divorce selfie. Instead of being ashamed of their divorce, more and more couples are saying jubilantly and proudly, “Hey! We’re awesomely and amicably divorced!” and posting a photo of themselves newly unhitched. But is this behavior helpful in the often contentious world of divorce, or is the #divorceselfie just another bandwagon to jump on for the sake of a hashtag?

Launching a trend

There’s a selfie—a photo of you taken by you. And then there’s a divorce selfie—a photo of a newly divorced couple taken by the divorced couple. Former Calgary pair Shannon and Chris Neumann are credited with starting the craze, posting a photo on Facebook of themselves post-divorce in front of their local courthouse. The August 2015 post was accompanied by a positive message in which the freshly divorced couple praised themselves for working together in a positive way for the sake of the kids.

Since then, the #divorceselfie has become widespread. On Instagram, a “ginger08“ wrote, “The Hardcains may have officially come to an end but our friendship remains. #divorceselfie #lovewaslove #endofanera” and “rach100981“ echoed, “#divorceselfie we still make a great team. Glad to be friends.” In a similar vein, “kindofsummer“ wrote, “We couldn’t make our marriage work, but there’s no reason to fight. We don’t hate each other (we’re past that).”

“At first glance, it seems a little tacky, but I think a divorce selfie signifies the closing of a door and moving on—an attitude which should be commended,” says Rebekah L. Rini, a family law attorney in Nevada with Lagomarsino Law. “It seems to be a sign of someone who is dealing with their divorce in a healthy way.”

The motivation behind the divorce selfie

“People post selfies for different purposes, but there is some psychology behind divorce selfies,” says Jeff Anderson, a divorce and family law attorney in Dallas. “They can have the effect of galvanizing good will. The selfie can represent pride that the couple went through the process with dignity and grace, plus it gives those good feelings greater longevity for the parents who still have to raise their children.”

The key, of course, is for the message accompanying the selfie to be a positive one, an optimistic sentiment that looks forward to the future rather than lamenting the past. A common phrase that can be found on divorce selfie posts: Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

A recent survey conducted by Avvo found that women tend to have fewer regrets after a divorce; meanwhile, a different study conducted in 2014 found that women also take more selfies than men (at least before age 40, after which the ratio flips). So is it possible the trend is driven to some degree by that correlation?

Still, selfies, in their essence, are narcissistic. And divorce selfies, it could be argued, are rather free of ego. So isn’t that a good thing as couples say yes to divorce and embark on the next path in their lives?

There’s nothing wrong with an amicable divorce

A quick search of Twitter will find some people praising the #divorceselfie, and others wondering what has happened to the world. A bit of jealousy might be what’s in play for those who roll their eyes at the divorce selfie trend. If they couldn’t have an amicable divorce themselves, why should anyone else be so fortunate? Let’s face it—not every divorce is going to end in a #divorceselfie. Plenty of couples will be happy to see the back of their former spouse and then never see them again, let alone commemorate the divorce with a photo.

“Whether through a collaborative divorce process or via mediation, divorce selfie couples have worked hard to minimize the conflict in their divorce and looked for win-win settlements,” says Christian Denmon, a founding partner of Denmon & Denmon in Tampa Bay, Florida. “Proud of the way they have handled themselves and parting on good terms, they are celebrating with selfies at the end of the process.”

Image courtesy of today.com