Sharing custody is a big challenge for divorced parents or unmarried parents who separate. Agreeing to a division of parenting time is difficult, and thinking about only being a part-time parent can be even worse.
One of the hardest parts is the need to divide all of the special experiences you can share with your children. Many times, parents have an alternating schedule for holidays and birthdays. The kids are with one parent one year and the other one the next. This approach is fair, but it isn’t necessarily best for everyone.
The children will likely be acutely aware of how one parent isn’t present on their special day. If it’s possible for you and your ex to manage, shared birthdays, sports events and even holiday celebrations can be a good conclusion in your custody plan.
How do you say shared birthdays and holidays work?
Parents sharing special days with the children will make arrangements for parties and get-togethers that include both parents. Communication, advance planning and a commitment to avoid disputes while around the children are crucial to the success of such arrangements.
Essentially, the entire family will still get together on these special days just like they did prior to the divorce. So long as the parents remain committed to avoiding conflict on those special days, it can be meaningful for the children to have their entire family present for birthdays and holidays, rather than only getting to share their most important days with one of their parents.
Even shared birthdays and holidays require careful rotation
Having both parents present on a child’s special days is only one of the logistical concerns for sharing those special events. You also have to think about where you will host the get-together and who will cover the costs and planning.
Parents may alternate their roles, meaning that one parent pays and hosts one year, and then the other manages the celebration the next year. They might also divide the responsibility permanently, with one parent agreeing to host and the other paying for food and decorations.
Addressing as many of these concerns ahead of time as possible will make sharing special events and shared custody overall easier for your family to manage.