All too often, the idea of a shared event in a child’s life ”“ for example, a birthday or a graduation ”“ can bring anxiety to divorced parents when they realize they will have to see their exes at the occasion. No doubt you want to be present for your child’s achievement, and the child benefits from the affirmation of both parents attending. But the logistics of the visit can be harsh, especially if you do not see eye to eye with your ex.
When tensions are high between you and your ex, there are constructive ways of dealing with it that can help prevent a flare up between the two of you. One way is by creating buffers ”“ arriving early to find separate seating, for example, or inviting friends and family to dissipate the negative atmosphere. This limited contact can keep animosity out of the picture so that both you and your ex can do what you are supposed to ”“ support and recognize your child’s achievements.
If you plan on celebrating post-event and your ex will be present, do your best to maintain a low key attitude toward your ex. Light conversation and focusing on the child will help keep your issues with your ex under wraps ”“ this is definitely not a time to discuss child support or other divorce-related contentions. This is another place where having other friends and relatives present can help ”“ if you can keep your child talking, you can avoid awkwardness with your ex.
You could also consider holding celebrations separately. Graduation parties, for example, can be held on different days with different sides of the family.
No matter what, these days are not about you or your ex. They are about your child. Placing your focus on him or her is the easiest way to avoid conflict.
Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys