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Will you be celebrating Father’s Day without your kids?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Family Law |

As the seemingly ubiquitous ads for Father’s Day begin, newly separated and divorced fathers can find themselves facing the possibility of spending that day without their children – or at least having a holiday that’s not celebrated in the way they’re used to. Often – particularly when children are young –mothers do much of the work to make the day special. 

Many couples don’t think about including these holidays in their custody agreement, so they can become problematic. Of course, it’s always best when co-parents can agree – with or without it being codified – to let their children spend the weekend (or at least the day) with the parent everyone is celebrating. If the kids are too young to buy gifts on their own (or old enough that they need some prodding), helping them buy or make a gift can benefit them – and go a long way to maintaining an amicable relationship with your co-parent. 

Celebrate when you can

Most co-parents learn not to be more flexible about celebrating holidays on specific dates. That includes everything from Christmas to Father’s Day. If it’s important to you (and your kids) to have a Father’s Day celebration – even if it’s just brunch or a picnic together – and they’re with your co-parent on that day, do it before or after. There will likely be fewer people crowding the restaurant or other venue, which is a plus.

If you can’t be together, arrange for a video call if that’s what they want. The important thing is not to make a big deal out of it if they don’t.

Find a way to help someone else

Rather than stay home and feel sad or think of ways to get back at your ex, celebrate Father’s Day with other fathers in your family or maybe with friends who are in the same boat as you. If you can work so that someone else can spend the day with their kids, that can help take your mind off your problems.

Don’t focus on payback

When Mother’s Day rolls around next year, don’t see it as a chance to “get back” at your ex for ignoring Father’s Day. If you help your kids make Mother’s Day special, your co-parent is more likely to reciprocate. If you feel strongly about having your kids on Father’s Day and your ex doesn’t, you may want to seek a modification of your custody agreement to include it.