Trying to establish a shared custody arrangement with your co-parent isn’t easy. The two of you probably disagree about what is fair or reasonable. Both of you might want to be with your children on important days like birthdays and holidays. You might alternate these special events so only one of you is present or split them in half, with a custody exchange in the middle of the day.
While alternating holidays, birthdays or soccer games may seem like a convenient arrangement for you, your children may not feel as happy about it. When parents become fixated on their own wishes and rights, they may unintentionally forget to ask what their children want. As you come up with a schedule for sharing those special events, you may wish to involve your children in the decision-making process, depending on their ages.
Children want to feel like the center of attention on special days
More isn’t always better. Having two birthday parties can feel like a disappointment rather than a reward for a child still struggling with the divorce of their parents. Instead of one party where everybody’s happy, they get two parties where everyone is a little bit resentful or stressed out.
Although it can be difficult at first, parents may find that cooperating on birthdays, holidays and other special dates for the children in the family can be the best solution for everyone. By having both parents present and involved, you make the children the focus and remind them about their family roots despite the upheaval they’ve experienced.
Obviously, joint parties and holiday celebrations may not be possible in your circumstances. Even if you and your child’s other parent can agree on a schedule, it is best to involve a legal professional to make certain you are missing anything. Also, this may help with future enforcement issues should they arise. Thinking carefully about your needs and the desires of your children can make planning for shared custody a little easier for your entire family.