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garnet
journeyman


Reged: 01/02/08
Posts: 51
Birthday Party drama
      #766625 - 11/03/11 09:57 AM

DDs birthday is next month. We have a custody order that says we alternate years planning her party, but that the other parent must be included in the celebration. This was put in the CO as a result of ex's attempt to exclude me from dd's b-day parties two out of the last three years (and the only reason he didn't the third year was because we were in trial for custody and he was trying to show that he had reformed his ways). This year is ex's turn to plan. I asked him if he was planning something, and he said he hadn't made any plans yet. DD tells me that she is having a slumber party at her dad's house. I understand that he doesn't want me in his home because we are clearly not on good terms (and I don't relish the idea of being in his home). I don't expect to spend the night there, but I would expect to be there for dinner, activities, cake.

How would you handle this? Should I just suck it up and let it go? I hate that dd's b-day turns into a huge drama every year, but I also hate being excluded from it. Her b-day is very special to me, and it kills me not to fully share in it with her.


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Sherron
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Reged: 11/25/06
Posts: 20633
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: garnet]
      #766629 - 11/03/11 10:20 AM

"Should I just suck it up and let it go?"
Yes. Your court order that the other party must be included is nice in theory, but sucks in execution when you're not on good terms. Insisting on being there will be uncomfortable for all, especially the child. You have the opportunity to add drama and tension to that day... or to let it go.

"I hate that dd's b-day turns into a huge drama every year, but I also hate being excluded from it. Her b-day is very special to me, and it kills me not to fully share in it with her."
Assuming you have some time with her at your place... throw her your own party on your time. When you're divorced, one of the things you have to adjust to is that sometimes the actual day doesn't matter as much as the event itself. Yes, ideally you'd celebrate her bday on the actual day, but it sounds like you have the opportunity for that every other year. You say you hate this and you hate that, it's special to you and it kills you... what about her... who is this about? I have a feeling with the drama you spoke of... the child would rather have two separate parties than one party where two people who can't stand each other give each other the cold shoulder in front of her friends... talk to her, talk to ex... but I wouldn't enforce that portion of the court order.


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Avaya
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Reged: 02/09/06
Posts: 9850
Loc: Arkansas
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: garnet]
      #766636 - 11/03/11 11:04 AM

I think that's a dumb think to have included in a CO. Who wants to attend a party they're not welcome at? If the parents get along and choose to host parties (or attend parties) together, that's fabulous. But when they clearly don't get along each parent should celebrate birthdays separately. The DAY OF the birthday isn't what's important, it's how you recognize it. Most birthday parties don't occur ON the day, so it should be no big deal to have separate parties.

--------------------
Eternity is too long to be wrong.


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garnet
journeyman


Reged: 01/02/08
Posts: 51
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: Sherron]
      #766646 - 11/03/11 12:11 PM

[quote You say you hate this and you hate that, it's special to you and it kills you... what about her... who is this about? I have a feeling with the drama you spoke of... the child would rather have two separate parties than one party where two people who can't stand each other give each other the cold shoulder in front of her friends... talk to her, talk to ex... but I wouldn't enforce that portion of the court order. [/quote]

You are absolutely right - this is about dd. It is also about both parents being equally involved in her life. I realize that this seems like a small, petty thing - maybe it is - but a child's birthday is a big deal to the parents and the child alike. If it were up to dd, both parents would be there. She often feels that her loyalties are torn, and it makes things much easier on her when we can all pretend to get along for a few hours.

As for "enforcing the order" - I am not about to go to court over this. I'm just trying to decide whether and how to approach ex. There is no talking to him about anything. His unwillingness/inability to discuss and coparent combined with his desire to alienate dd from me (part of why this is such a big deal and in the CO)are why I was awareded sole legal custody.


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garnet
journeyman


Reged: 01/02/08
Posts: 51
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: Avaya]
      #766647 - 11/03/11 12:15 PM

Avaya - It may be "dumb" to have it in the CO, but there were very clear reasons for it. I think that having it in the CO was in part to take out the question of who is "welcome" at the party. It is to be assumed that the other parent is welcome and not up for discussion. Given the history of ex's attempts at alienation, it was deemed an important issue that dd see us as equally involved in and present at her birthday parties. It is sad that this is what we've come to, but at least for now, this is how things are.

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ssmom79
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Reged: 06/27/07
Posts: 7988
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: garnet]
      #766652 - 11/03/11 12:28 PM

You are clinging to something that may seem important to you but in the long run of post divorce life, there will be so many other obstacles this will seem like a penny in a bucket.

I understand you have it written into the CO, but right now you're forcing yourself into a place that (for whatever petty to you/important to him reason) isn't working out. So, look to your daughter, do you want her to have to deal with her parents in a tense situation on her birthday? Maybe you could consider starting a new tradition with your daughter for her birthday.

I remember the first two birthday's for my SK's were terribly tense and awkward. We decided to split the parties after that and it worked out really well.


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Avaya
Carpal \'Tunnel
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Reged: 02/09/06
Posts: 9850
Loc: Arkansas
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: garnet]
      #766655 - 11/03/11 12:39 PM

If I was him and you forced that into the order, every party I planned would be at my house surrounded by dozens of my friends and family and I would not allow you to bring anyone with you. I would do my best to make the party as uncomfortable for you as I possibly could. You are NOT *welcome* at the party he plans, you forced him to allow you to come to it. Putting it in the CO only made what COULD have eventually become a cordial relationship one that is forced instead.

--------------------
Eternity is too long to be wrong.


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c_jane
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 04/06/07
Posts: 1890
Loc: In the Great State of Texas
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: Avaya]
      #766660 - 11/03/11 01:00 PM

UGH!! I can't IMAGINE being FORCED to attend a party Exhole was having @ his house for DS. I would sooner walk on broken glass on my knees than be around him/his family for DS's birthday party!!

We have ALWAYS had his family/my family b'days for DS. It WAS a problem in the elementary years because they would ALWAYS have DS's party FIRST, invite ALL the class/Scout Trout/Sunday School class, and then when *I* had DS's party the weekend after -- there was no one left to invite.

After 3 or 4 years of stewing about it, I made the decision to let go and ENJOY DS's birthday parties on a smaller scale. We would pick 4-6 of his best friends and do a 'fun party'. If the kids had been to his Dad's blowout party, I would stress they didn't have to bring another gift for DS.

We went camping one year up by a nearby lake. The boys slept in a tent outside while I was in the camper. My brother brought his boat up and we towed the boys in a tube. We had a campfire, cooked hot dogs, and roasted marshmallows. It was one of DS's best birthdays. Another time my DD worked at a hotel with an indoor pool. I took 4 boys and DS swimming at the hotel, which was cool because it wasn't swimming weather yet.

You need to consider having your OWN friend/family party on a different day and make it ANOTHER special party for your DD.

--------------------
John Constantine: God's a kid with an ant farm.... He's not planning anything.


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ssmom79
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Reged: 06/27/07
Posts: 7988
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: c_jane]
      #766664 - 11/03/11 01:25 PM

Exactly CJ!

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elliesmom
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Reged: 11/07/05
Posts: 8839
Re: Birthday Party drama [Re: garnet]
      #766666 - 11/03/11 01:32 PM

It may be in your order but it is not a good idea. If you aren't friends - forcing your way into his house is not going to make for a pleasant party for your DD. And that is what should REALLY matter.

One thing we have done is have the "anti-party" so to speak. Do something that you COULDN'T do with a large group of kids. Take her and her best girlfriend to do something special (or even just her) for her birthday. Girly stuff, spas...makeovers...or if she isn't girly to an amusement park or something like that. Maybe a trip (don't know your budget). A special day for her birthday that isn't the paper hats and cake version can be just as meaningful - maybe even more.

--------------------
Forgiveness is...letting go of the hope that the past can be changed.


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