Thanks for asking your friend for me. I guess that’s kind of similar. It depends. In some parts of the US, I think people believe a separated family is “broken” and unnatural. In cities and otherwise more progressive areas, more people will divorce or break up and co-parent.
Over the years, most people have been surprised by my situation at first (once they realize I’m the full-time, solo parent, and not the usual weekend visiting single dad) and then seem to appreciate or respect it. Others seem to think I’ve done something wrong, or something is off. Overall, full-time single moms are definitely more common. Either way, it doesn’t feel good when I’m being judged or grilled for an explanation (yes it has happened) by people who have a very strict and traditional view on marriage and the family unit. Of course I just move on and as you said, pay them no mind, but it’s nice to know what to expect when entering a new and very different environment. I want to respect the culture’s overall beliefs and values (rather than judge them and push my values, since I would be the guest) while still maintaining respect and confidence for mine and my daughter’s situation.
Basically, if it was really frowned upon, I would think, “Our familial arrangement is not common here, and people generally don’t like it, but that’s ok. We don’t have to hide it or be ashamed, but we should also acknowledge the cultural values of the place we’re visiting and expect the possibility of a little awkwardness.”