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How to Handle Birthdays After Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg family lawyer

When children are young, birthday parties are a way to make them feel special, with family and friends in attendance. However, after a divorce, celebrating a child’s birthday may feel like a complicated and daunting task. Your child deserves to have a great day, but seeing your ex-spouse and being reminded of your divorce may not be the best situation for everyone involved. You may also feel increased pressure to make things perfect for your child, especially if you are recently divorced.

To start, your parenting plan may have all the answers. You might have communicated what to do for family birthdays in your divorce agreement. A parenting plan dictates which parent a child spends time with and when. Maybe that was a while ago, and things have changed, or it was not included at all. 

Here are some tips for handing birthdays to make sure your child continues to feel celebrated on their special day:

Two Birthday Parties

If there is one thing your child will not complain about, it is two parties and double the presents. If you and your ex cannot be friendly, it may be best for your child’s sake to keep celebrations separate. There may be some bad blood with family members as well, so the less drama, the more your child can focus on what flavor of cake they want instead of a family dispute. This is often the route parents go in the first few years after a divorce until tensions are reduced.

One Birthday Celebration

Although you may not feel like a family, your child loves both you and your ex. They might want you together to share their special day. This is the most common preference for children, but should only be attempted if all family members can get along for the event. It is a good thing for both sides to be able to come together for your child, but do not attempt this if there is even the slightest risk of conflict. Also consider having the party at a neutral location, like a park or your child’s favorite restaurant. 

Successful Co-Parenting 

Perhaps there is current animosity between you and your ex. In most situations, this changes over time. For you to raise a child separately but also together, you must maintain civil and thoughtful communication. Co-parenting is a partnership. While your marriage might be over, this is an important duty for the benefit of your children.

Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

If you need a parenting plan modification, contact an experienced Palatine family law attorney for help. Call our office at 847-995-9999 to set up a free consultation.



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