The Dear Abby advice column has been running in newspapers for more than 60 years. We recently read an installment in a California newspaper in which a man soon to be married “to a wonderful woman who has a 6-year-old daughter with her ex-husband” asked for advice. His fiancée has been divorced for two years and shares joint custody with her ex.
The problem is that the ex-husband insists that he, his ex-wife and their daughter pose for “happy family” photos at school events and similar occasions on which all three of them are present. The photos make the ex-wife and her fiancée uncomfortable, but he isn’t sure how to stop the requests without causing problems for the little girl.
It should be noted that the ex-husband is also engaged to be married.
Abby replies that after the two couples are both married, all photos should be of the blended families together, rather than the awkward “happy” family photos the ex-husband has been insisting on.
While there is nothing particularly wrong about the advice, Abby’s reply overlooks an important, positive aspect of the situation: though the ex-husband and ex-wife aren’t on the same page regarding photos, they are both involved in their daughter’s life. They are also friendly enough that the requests for “happy family” photos are agreed to (though not without some quiet discomfort).
That speaks volumes for both halves of the former couple. They have put aside their differences for the good of their child. Their amicable divorce has allowed both of them to move on in their lives and find new loves, though they are connected through their daughter.
While the photo issue still needs to be worked out, it’s a relatively minor problem that will likely be resolved by these mature, responsible parents.
You, too, can end a marriage and resolve difficult child custody and visitation disputes with dignity and the help of an experienced San Jose family law attorney.