There’s no doubt about it – divorce is hard at any time of the year. But if you’re an active and involved father and you’re going through a divorce on Father’s Day, you might be having a tough time.
First of all, that’s perfectly understandable, and you should know that plenty of fathers have to contend with the same feelings you’re grappling with now.
Perhaps worries about custody agreements have you concerned you’re not going to see your children as often, or perhaps the stress and financial burden of divorce have cast a shadow on what would otherwise be a fun day with family.
Either way, coping with a newly filed uncontested divorce, contested divorce, or a hotly contested divorce modification on Father’s Day is tricky stuff. So to help you get through the day and keep your head above water, we’ve compiled some helpful tips.
How to Get Through Divorce on Father’s Day
Arrange Contact With Your Children on Father’s Day
It might sound like a no-brainer, but arranging contact is difficult for some couples going through a divorce. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on good terms, ask them if you can have the children with you for Father’s Day, even if it falls outside of your normal shared custody agreement. If they agree, plan a fun day out with plenty of activities that take your mind off the divorce. Whether it’s a mini-golf or a walk in the park with ice cream, the children will be happy to share time with their father.
If your spouse doesn’t agree to let you have the children with you for Father’s Day, don’t panic or lash out just yet. First, calmly ask if you can have the children for a few hours instead of the whole day. If you are still met with resistance, wait a day or two and then propose your suggestion again.
You may find that a few days give your spouse time to reconsider their initial reaction to your request, and they are now amenable to adjusting the parenting schedule. You can also offer to be adaptable yourself at a future date, which could work in your spouse’s favor if they have activities or appointments planned.
When all else fails, and you cannot have physical contact with your children on Father’s Day, or if your children now live farther away and physical contact is impossible, set up a Zoom or Skype call instead.
Momentarily Forget the Divorce
This is easier said than done, but if you actively try to stop thinking about the divorce for a day and instead concentrate on what’s good in your life, such as your children, you should be able to enjoy your day much more.
Whether you believe in the power of positive thinking or are inclined to think of the concept as mumbo-jumbo, there is plenty of evidence that suggests positive thinking processes can have a tremendous effect on our cognitive processes. In layman’s terms, this means that thinking positively can make the grind of daily life feel more optimistic. It seems that Bobby McFerrin was onto something when he sang, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Adopt a positive attitude for the day, and you’re likely to have more fun with your children.
Don’t Discuss the Divorce With Your Children
Aside from the fact that you’re meant to be forgetting about the divorce on Father’s Day, you shouldn’t discuss anything related to the divorce with your children. On this special day or any other day, for that matter.
Remember that children are sensitive, and they are probably already having a hard time with the changes to their life, so avoid mentioning the divorce and never make snide comments about the other parent in their presence.
Instead, celebrate Father’s Day as it was intended – a special day to celebrate the bond between a father and his kids. Don’t let the divorce draw your attention away from what matters on Father’s Day. Have fun, enjoy your children’s company, and remember, nothing lasts forever, including divorce proceedings.
Attorney Steven Harris is a family law & divorce attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He lives with his lovely wife of over fifteen years and regularly writes informative articles online about domestic relations law and other related topics. He is the owner of The Harris Firm LLC, a family law firm with offices across the State of Alabama. www.theharrisfirmllc.com