Family, Criminal & Children's Court Attorneys Since 1991

3 birthday-related challenges that co-parents may face

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Custody and Parenting Time |

Sharing parental rights and responsibilities can be a difficult prospect. Parents may struggle to adjust to a new schedule for the family. It can also be difficult to give up time with the children on special days.

Birthdays are annual celebrations where children get to be the center of everyone’s attention. Children and teenagers often want big gifts and parties for their birthdays. Those desires can translate to significant complications in co-parenting arrangements. Issues related to a child’s birthday, including the following, could very easily cause disputes between co-parents.

Parenting time issues

Parents often need to have a nuanced planning place for special events like birthdays. Neither parent likely wants to give up spending an important day with a child because of a co-parenting schedule. It can be difficult to determine who the child stays with on their birthday. Parents may struggle to agree about the right way to address special events like birthdays in a parenting plan.

Birthday party concerns

A birthday party can very easily trigger a variety of parenting disputes. Adults may disagree about who gets to host the party and who has to pay for it. They may disagree about who gets to attend. New romantic partners and extended family members could be a source of conflict. Parents may have a hard time agreeing on what sort of celebration is appropriate when they share responsibility for their children.

Birthday present issues

There are numerous ways that birthday gifts can be an issue for co-parents. Perhaps the concern is that one parent might spend far more than the other can afford on birthday gifts, making the other one feel bad about what they can afford. Perhaps both parents want to purchase a child’s most desired birthday gift and argue over who gets to take credit for the gift. The best solution is often coordination. Parents can combine their resources to afford more expensive gifts and avoid duplicating gifts if they communicate about gift-giving before a birthday.

Recognizing their birthdays can be as much a source of conflict as they are as source of joy may help people who share custody as they prepare for a child’s upcoming birthday celebration. Parents who have thoughtful expectations in place in a shared custody scenario can reduce the likelihood of unnecessary family conflict.