University of Denver

Smiling Selfie a Sign of Co-Parenting Commitment

IAALS Intern

Not all divorces are ugly. Shannon and Chris Neuman, a Canadian couple, recently finalized their divorce in Calgary, Alberta. The final consummation of their divorce: a selfie outside the courthouse. 

The ex-couple’s selfie is a celebration of the commitment that they have made, regardless of personal differences, to raise their children in a loving and supportive atmosphere.

Alongside the photo, Shannon and Chris included a brief explanation:

Are we smiling because the partner we chose for forever turned out to not to be the forever partner we needed? Of course not. We're smiling because we have done something extraordinary (we think anyway!) We have respectfully, thoughtfully and honourably ended our marriage in a way that will allow us to go forward as parenting partners for our children, the perfect reason that this always WAS meant to be, so they will never have to choose. 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. They won't have to struggle with their own wedding planning because we'll be sitting on the same side of the aisle - THEIR side.

They hope that the picture can inspire others to resolve their differences in the best interest of their children as well. "If it helps any couples struggling (even if they're complete strangers to us!)," said Shannon, "then I think that's awesome and it makes me feel super proud."


Here's Chris Neuman and I yesterday after filing for divorce! But we're smiling?! Yep, we're kooky like that. Are we...

Posted by Shannon Neuman on Thursday, August 27, 2015

IAALS’ Honoring Families Initiative advocates for processes for divorce and separation that prioritize the welfare of children.

The Center for Out of Court Divorce (COCD) is a great example. We invite you to learn more about COCD and our complete list of cutting-edge work and projects.

Hunter Metcalf is a third-year law student at the University of Colorado Law School and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to