A child’s graduation from elementary school, high school, or college is an exciting time for the entire family. But for divorced spouses, coming together to celebrate this proud accomplishment is not always easy. Here are five tips to make your child’s graduation a peaceful, happy time for both parents, and more importantly the graduate.
Make it all about your child. Your child has surely worked hard to reach this day and he or she deserves to be in the limelight. Arguing about who should attend and where they should sit only detracts from your child’s accomplishment. Never pressure your child to choose between parents or make decisions that make him or her uncomfortable.
This is not a contest. Avoid using your child’s graduation to demonstrate who is the more generous or favorite parent. Attendance should not be based on who spent the most on the child’s education, or who can afford the best gift. Your child needs both parents at his or her side on this special day, and all the special days to come. Step-parents who have been involved in raising the child should also be included if space permits.
Leave the hostility at home. Even if your divorce was especially bitter, graduation day is not the time to hash out the details. Nothing is more important than your child’s accomplishment. Save the distracting arguments, name calling, and accusations for another day. If your child asks, pose for photos with your ex. You can also take photos of just you and your child.
Host separate celebrations. If you and your ex are leading separate lives, consider throwing separate celebrations. Maybe you live in different cities, or have not seen each other in years. Each of you can host a graduation dinner or party with your own respective families and friends. Your child is unlikely to protest to attending more than one celebration in his or her honor.
Avoid each other if necessary. Unfortunately for some couples that have experienced particularly acrimonious splits, it is best for them to keep their distance. Especially with divorces that involve infidelity or domestic abuse, some spouses should not be expected to interact. If this is the case for you, elect to sit in a different area than your ex and celebrate separately after the event. Be civil, be discreet, and focus on your child’s happy day.
With a bit of patience, acceptance, and perspective, you can truly enjoy this family milestone. As your child prepares to leave the nest, contact with your ex will become more limited. Try to set aside your differences on this happy occasion and you can create memories for you and your graduate to cherish forever.
Mendham Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Navigate Difficult Divorces
Medham divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. support clients going through divorce, making sure their interests are protected and they achieve the best resolution possible. Call our Somerville, New Jersey offices at 908-575-9777 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey including those in Somerset County, Morris County, Union County, and the towns of Somerville, Bridgewater, Mendham, Basking Ridge, Somerset, and Morristown.