With Father’s Day just around the corner, you may be more nervous than excited if you have recently gotten divorced. What was previously a day spent with your nuclear family may look a little different this year.
Even though the holidays, including Father’s Day weekend, are different for newly separated parents, they don’t have to be negative. In this article, we will discuss the ways you can make Father’s Day post-divorce a positive experience for you and your kids.
Father’s Day Tips for Divorced Parents
Here are a few tips for newly separated or divorced parents on how Father’s Day can still be enjoyable for you and your children.
- Respect your custody agreement. During your initial child custody or child support case, you and the other party should have agreed upon a parenting time plan, which includes details concerning the holiday schedule. If you could not agree, Florida Statute § 409.25633 outlines a standard parenting time plan that can be implemented. In either case, your holiday time-sharing schedule should outline with whom your child will spend the holidays, including Father’s Day.
- Make time for dads. Regardless of which parent your children are spending the day with, try to include time for all of the fathers in their lives. From stepfathers to biological dads and grandparents, set up video calls or plan to spend time with them if possible. Even if you can’t set up a call, consider pulling out photo albums and showing your kids their paternal lineage.
- Avoid introducing new partners. Introducing a new partner during the holiday weekend, especially Father’s Day weekend, may not be a good idea. Holidays and anniversaries after a divorce can be emotionally challenging and tense for divorced parents and their kids, and a new partner may only complicate things.
- Help your kids plan something. Your child(ren) may want to make a card or buy the dad in their life a small gift. Help facilitate the gift-giving and planning process to make the day special. Whether you are a dad helping with their stepfather’s or granddad’s gift or a mom helping plan a picnic for their dad, your child will appreciate the help, and you are showing them that you support the other relationships they may have.
- Avoid making your children feel guilty. Even if you and your child’s other parent do not get along, you shouldn’t put them in the middle of a disagreement, disparage the other parent, argue in front of them, complain about the holiday time-sharing schedule, or do anything to make them guilty for their relationship with their other parent. While you may have valid reasons for disliking the other party, your child may feel isolated or torn if you make them pick sides or feel bad for wanting to spend time with their other parent.
- Acknowledge your emotions. Father’s Day weekend post-divorce will likely be difficult. You may feel a wide range of emotions, such as anger, sorrow, loneliness, bitterness, resentment, longing, or nostalgia. Embrace those emotions; process them, and then, let them go for now. While you should acknowledge and recognize your emotions, wallowing or letting anger overcome you won’t make the day enjoyable.
- Help your kids process their emotions. Your kids may also be struggling emotionally during Father’s Day after divorce. Take time to help them healthily process and express their emotions, and remind them that while change is uncomfortable, it can also be good.
- Start new traditions. While Father’s Day doesn’t look the same after divorce, it can still be fun. Create some new traditions with yourself, your kids, and/or your family.
- Do something fun. Father’s Day is meant to be a celebration; while you may still be reeling from your divorce or upset your kids aren’t with you, focus on feeling celebrated (as a dad) or celebrating the dads in your life. Whether you go out to dinner, go to a friend’s house, or enjoy times with your kids, be sure to make the day feel festive.
If you are involved in a family law matter, such as a divorce or child custody case, contact the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher today. We are dedicated to helping families navigate the legal system and move forward, and we can help you protect your rights and interests.
To schedule a case consultation, call (352) 503-4111 now or contact us online.