One item that can become an emotional soft point or even a point of hostile contention between a divorced couple is the celebration of shared minor child’s birthday. There are many different ways to celebrate a child’s special day that have been implemented by countless families. Discuss with your attorney certain methods of celebrations used by other families that have proven successful.
There are two main approaches couples take when determining how to celebrate a child’s birthday after a divorce: having a single celebration with both parents involved and splitting the costs, or having two different and completely separate celebrations for the child.
There are many benefits of having a single celebration with your co-parent. For your child’s emotional development, a combined celebration will allow your child to see the parents working together, communicating, and always have a moment in time that they may look back on and point to a time where their parents clearly placed their own needs aside for the benefit of their child. Further, with a single celebration, the date of party may occur on the child’s actual birthday, removing the conflict that may occur when parents desire to spend the child’s birthday with them even though it may not land on their timesharing day. Finally, the costs of a single party may be split between the parties, possibility resulting in a more exciting and lavish party than what a single individual may provide.
In contrast, if parents are unable to collaborate and provide for a single celebration, they may wish to have separate parties for their child. This method eliminates the possibility of conflict that may arise in the party planning communication between you and your coparent, as well as the conflict that may arise during the party between you and your co-parent or even opposite family members. However, issues may arise when both parents desire to celebrate the child’s birthday on the actual date of their birth or have a celebration on the same day. Therefore, couples may decide to split a single day in half with one taking the morning and the other taking the evening; or you may decide to alternate days on an annual basis. Further, issues may arise for the child if they are wishing to have both parents present as their party, wondering why each parent is not there, or are comparing and contrasting the separate celebrations.
Celebrating a child’s birthday can be a significant event for you and your family. Therefore, it is important to discuss the expectations of these celebrations with your lawyer and your former spouse and possibly draft these agreements into your parenting plan to avoid any confusion or conflicts later on. Your attorney is experienced in all issues of a child custody arrangement in a divorce proceeding, including events such as birthday celebrations. No detail is too small, therefore, be open and provide your attorney with your expectations and needs in relation to the celebration of your child’s birthday.
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