If you haven’t seen it making its way across the internet, make sure to search for the powerful image of a father who surprises guests at his daughter’s wedding by inviting her stepfather to join them on her walk down the aisle. Apparently, the father, Todd Bachman, and the stepfather, Todd Cendrosky, have not always shared an amicable relationship. In fact, according to TODAY Parents, Bachman and his ex-wife spent their fair share of time in the court system. However, as time went on and both sides were able to see more clearly, they started to find ways to treat each other with respect. And it seems that respect has now grown to a genuine admiration and appreciation of one another.
Many of our clients, especially at the outset of their case, cannot imagine a scenario in which they will feel anything but anger towards their ex. But examples like Bachman and Cendrosky are giving people hope of a kinder, more peaceful tomorrow. In the meantime, children of divorced couples are trying to navigate how to enjoy their big day while keeping everyone involved happy. On weddingwire.com, a post entitled “Dad and Step-dad giving me away” was commented on by 11 other people, all asking the same thing: who do I ask to walk me down the aisle?
While divorce may be on the rise, so is the incidence of “friendly” divorces. This is partly based on changes in family courts across the nation. In 28 states, divorcing parents must attend classes on the importance of co-parenting. In addition, according to www.parents.com, “the newest generation of parents is far more likely to have experienced divorce themselves as children, and they want to make it easier on their own kids.” Also, there are new organizations dedicated to helping parents and children navigate this difficult process. There is an agency in San Francisco specializing in divorce education with a child-focus, whose motto is “Separation doesn’t tear families apart. Conflict does.” Locally there are agencies, like Reaching Resolution in Matthews, that tout an ability to “help find solutions to the problems and issues that you or your loved ones face…We specialize in…resolving couple and family conflict…co-operative co-parenting, and blending stepfamilies.” It seems likely that more and more such services will be provided as more people make the attempt to take a walk down the proverbial aisle together.