Experiencing a divorce can make it seem as if life has stopped in its tracks. However, the world goes on and months continue to fly by. This means that sooner or later, divorced parents need to figure out how to celebrate their child’s birthday.
While this may seem like an awkward subject, it should be faced head on by both parties. Ultimately, the child’s needs must take precedence over all else. A few key strategies can help parents make the special day just as exciting, fun, and positively memorable as it always was.
Talk About It During the Divorce Settlement
A smart way to plan ahead for a child’s birthday is to talk about it during the divorce settlement. That way, it will not sneak up on the divorcing couple or be an uncomfortable situation. For instance, if the child’s birthday falls on one parent’s weekend, the parent with primary custody may want to determine if they can be at a party together. If this would cause too much friction, they may want to have a separate celebration on another day. Depending upon how old the child is, the child may want to have a say in the matter. A three-year-old will be more likely to “go with the flow” than a teenager who may not want to spend time with either parent, opting instead to go to the movies or bowling with friends.
Focus on the Celebration for the Child
What happens if parents are still in the midst of a heated divorce battle when a child’s birthday rolls around? The most adult thing for the parents to do is to forgo their own emotions in favor of the child’s needs. Parents who can step away from their heartache, pain, and anger for one day to make their child feel special will do a world of good for everyone. Plus, the child will not associate the birthday with bad times. Rather, the child will see that happiness, normalcy, and divorce can co-exist.
Avoid Excessive Spending to Win Over a Youngster
It can be tough for some parents to sit back and not overspend on their child’s birthday, particularly right after a divorce. However, buying far too many or too expensive gifts only makes the experience more confusing for the child. Additionally, lavishing presents on a youngster sends all the wrong messages about what a parent’s love means. In general, divorced parents should seek to spend about as much on a child for a birthday as they would have if they were still married.
Stay Calm at a Joint Birthday Party
Parents who agree to both be at a child’s birthday party should also agree to a temporary truce. That way, the child can be the star of the show. Heated arguments and children’s parties do not go together. Parents need to be able to put their emotions aside for the duration of the celebration. Otherwise, they should not be in the same room to avoid a rough scene.
Somerville Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Work With Clients to Prepare for Post-Divorce Life Experiences
Have you been thinking of getting a divorce in New Jersey? Feel inundated with stress because you are not sure how to balance being a parent and being separated? Talk to a compassionate Somerville divorce lawyer at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Simply call 908-575-9777 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation at either our Somerville or Morristown offices. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including those in Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.