Family law: How to deal with an ex during a milestone celebration

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.

Mid-June is a common time of year for not only graduations, but also for other celebrations like weddings, starting a new career and even moving. These milestones are ones that everyone looks forward to — children and parents alike. However, there can be an added unnecessary level of stress for the children of parents who are separated or have gone through a contentious divorce.

Risa Garon, who is the executive director of the National Family Resiliency Center, works with children and adolescents and hears time and time again worrisome comments from those whose parents are divorced or broken up. Quite often the fears revolve around the possibility of parents getting into embarrassing arguments during these supposed to be joyous occasions.

And while it’s perfectly normal for there to be animosity between two parents who are no longer together, the advice for the milestone celebrations is to get along at the event for the sake of the children. This doesn’t mean acting like best friends, but rather just being civil to each other.

This means that instead of just going with a gut reaction, parents should think before acting. Rather than causing a scene, realize it’s an important day that one will want to look back on fondly.

Keeping the child in mind, it’s also important if the request is for there to be a joint celebration with both parents, to try and work together. This means talking ahead of time about any significant others that may be attending and to make sure that tasks are clearly agreed upon and divided up.

Lastly, since a child may still be nervous about their parents fighting — for reassurance purposes — make sure to talk with the child to see what he or she needs in order to feel comfortable and confident with the event.

Source: Huffington Post, “A Gift From A Parent To A Child,” Risa Garon, June 19, 2012

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