Try and remember that your child’s birthday is about making an enjoyable and memorable experience for them. Children remember their birthdays. It should be a time for birthday cake, blowing out candles, and joyful exchange of presents. It will certainly not be in the child’s best interests to feel as if they are caught up in the middle of a tug-of-war between their parents on such special occasions.
If possible you should try and negotiate plans that work well for everyone, particularly the children. The last thing you want to do is arrange times that effectively mean the children have to rush between households and won’t get to enjoy a party or proper celebration, at either home.
An example of an arrangement that could work for the children’s birthday time may be:
- the child spends time with the Mother after school, or 4:00pm if not a school day, on the night prior to the child’s birthday, until the commencement of school the following day, or until 4:00pm if not a school day, on the child’s birthday; and
- the child spends time with the Father from school, or 4:00pm if not a school day, on the child’s birthday until the commencement of school, or 4:00pm if not a school day, the day immediately following the child’s birthday.
This arrangement could then swap for the following year to ensure the child has the opportunity to experience a full and relaxed birthday celebration with each of their parents.
Parents often forget to include provisions for their own birthdays. Sometimes parents aren’t too worried about their own birthday, and arrange a celebration for the next occasion of contact with the children. However, some parents prefer a special provision for their birthday.
An example of an arrangement that could work for the Mother’s and Father’s birthday may be:
- If the day is a school day, the children spend from after school to 8:00pm with the parent celebrating the birthday; or
- If the day is a non-school day, the children spend from 5:00pm on the day prior until 5:00pm on the day of the parent’s birthday.
The usual living arrangements then re-commence after the birthday is over, so that the parent who is scheduled to usually take care of the children receives the children back into their care.