Should divorced parents celebrate children’s events together?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.

It is quite common to really dislike — even despise — an ex after a divorce. However, when it comes to parenting, the children tend to really benefit when parents can be civil toward one another.

Recently, Guy Ritchie and his ex-wife, Madonna, were seen at their son’s bar mitzvah together. The fact that these two were together — putting their differences aside — is something any divorced Illinois parent can learn from.

Many family therapists will strongly encourage, that when possible, parents put their negative feelings about each other aside in order to be there to celebrate with their children. This can mean forgetting about the bitter property division piece of the divorce and both being there to celebrate a graduation or a religious event. This can also mean putting the hurtful words of the past aside to both cheer on a school football game.

However, it should be noted there are times when this is not possible and not even recommended. For example, if parents cannot be together without giving into name-calling and arguing, then it is better to not attend children’s events and celebrations together. Along these same lines, if a lawyer said it was best to stay away from each other, then the parents should take this advice.

Lastly, there are also plenty of situations where one parent wants to be there to celebrate, but is being barred by the other parent. In these types of situations, where one parent feels like he or she has no say, this is a good time to reach out to a family law attorney. This attorney can look at any agreements that are already in place and explain different options to better enforcing parental rights.

Source: The New York Times, “Madonna and Guy Ritchie Model a ‘Good Divorce,'” Hope Reeves, July 15, 2013

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