For most children, celebrating their birthday is exciting and something they look forward to every year. However, despite the excitement of birthdays, your child may feel confused, sad or vulnerable because things will never be the same again after a divorce.
While you may want to continue the family tradition of making your child’s birthday celebration special, if you’re newly divorced, you may wonder how you can celebrate your child’s birthday as co-parents. How you celebrate birthdays and holidays will depend on the type of relationship you have with your ex.
Having a joint birthday party
Nothing would make your child’s birthday more memorable than having both parents and a few friends present. If you and your ex can be civil, you can consider having a joint party. However, this would work best in a neutral location like a favorite restaurant or movie theater.
Hosting separate birthday parties
While a joint birthday party would be a great idea, sometimes it’s not practical for divorced couples. For example, spending a day with your ex could lead to arguments if you had a highly contentious divorce. So instead, consider separate birthday parties, especially if your ex-spouse lives nearby.
Alternating birthdays every year
Another great option that you may consider is switching birthdays from year to year. This schedule is ideal for conflicting co-parents or those that live far from each other. However, adopting this plan means one parent won’t see their child. While it may be hard at first, your child can easily adjust. Plus, they can celebrate their birthday with the other parent later that week.
Your child’s birthday is part of the co-parenting puzzle you will have to deal with during the divorce. But because sharing custody for special occasions isn’t always easy, consider modifying your child custody agreement and include something about how to celebrate your child’s birthday.