Co-Parenting Tips for Father’s Day
Father’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor fatherhood and the contributions fathers make in their children’s lives. When parents no longer live together, both parents must take cooperative steps to ensure that the children are able to celebrate the day with their father, regardless of preexisting custody schedules or conflict.
Observed each year on the third Sunday in June, Father’s Day is a time to celebrate family male role models, such as fathers, stepfathers, grandparents, and uncles, and it is important that children are allowed to celebrate their special loved ones.
Even if you have a sole physical custody agreement, you can reach a plan that works for everyone on Father’s Day, and there are steps you can take to make sure the children have a happy day and create life-long memories, such as:
- Plan ahead: Talk with your co-parent and develop a plan for the Father’s Day holiday. If Father’s Day falls on a weekend the children will be with him, there will likely be no need to rearrange schedules. However, if the children are not already with their father, work together and make every effort for the children to spend the holiday with their father or other male role model in their lives, such as a grandfather or uncle. Consider rearranging the weekend before or after Father’s Day and splitting the weekend evenly so both parents can still have their allotted custody time. Cooperate with one another and do not loop Father’s Day discussions with other issues, particularly contentious ones. Father’s Day is a parent-specific holiday and important to children to celebrate with Dad.
- Cooperate and compromise: Reciprocating kind gestures with one another is effective for communication, civility, and cooperation. Regardless of personal feelings, making the extra effort to arrange schedules in order for the children to spend the holiday with their father lets him know you appreciate his parental role and participation. If the children’s father lives in another state, or has scheduling conflicts during the Father’s Day weekend, work together as a family unit to plan another day when the children can celebrate with their father instead. Ignoring or skipping the day can be painful for children.
- Be united: Presenting a united front is important all the time, not just for holidays. Though you may no longer see eye to eye as a couple, it is important that you be on the same page when it comes to raising your children. Do not let animosity rule your decisions regarding the children and do not undermine one another “bad mouth” the other parent to the children. During holidays such as Father’s Day, if the children see the event is stressful or a source of conflict for the parents, it can have a negative outcome on how they perceive the special occasion, when they should be celebrating instead.
- Be flexible: Oftentimes children are part of an extended or blended family. In these situations, it is important to the children to celebrate other male family members with whom they have a strong bond, such as a stepfather, grandfather, or uncle in addition to their father. Be flexible and take extra measures to allow the children to spend Father’s Day with all such family members in their lives.
- Involve the children: Planning ahead for Father’s Day involves more than just scheduling time and custody arrangements. Ask the children how they would like to celebrate their father during the special day and what gifts they would like to make or pick out that have special meaning from them to their father. Create happy expectations by letting your children see that you also appreciate their father’s role and have no animosity toward them spending the weekend with him so that they may have a happy time focused on their relationship to their father.
- Be a positive example: Whether you are the celebrated parent or not during Father’s Day, it is a prime opportunity to demonstrate healthy living and mental well-being to your children by doing something special for yourself. If you are the celebrated parent, have them help you prepare dinner or play outside with them. If you are the other parent, treat yourself to a spa day or go out with friends. Show your children good examples of healthy and conflict-free living.
- Have fun: Just like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is a time for children to celebrate their fathers and show him how much they love and appreciate him, so avoid topics of conflict with your co-parent during the holiday. Allow your children to have fun and create wonderful memories with their father.
Co-parents who are experiencing difficulty in developing an agreed-upon shared custody schedule during holiday periods can rely on New Jersey’s Court Holiday Parenting. The schedule details date and time allotments for all recognized American holidays.
As part of the state’s custody schedule, special days such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, custody is awarded to the appropriate celebrated parent, without deviation, for the day. This applies to both special holidays regardless of who has weekend custody during the holiday period, and both parents are expected to follow the ruling.
Utilizing New Jersey’s holiday parenting schedule can be very beneficial in co-parenting and eliminate conflict over who the children will celebrate with during any holiday period. While Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are designated the same each year, other holidays alternate to allow children to spend them with each parent.
Marlton Divorce Lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna Help Clients Develop Child Custody Arrangements Beneficial to Both Parent
Co-parenting together as a team is crucial for children to continue to have stability and support even when parents no longer live together. If you are divorcing and need to develop a shared custody agreement, our experienced Marlton divorce lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna can help. Call us at 856-890-9400 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Marlton, New Jersey, we serve clients in Burlington County, Camden County, and Gloucester County, and state-wide.