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Is a shared birthday party your best option?

You and your ex got divorced a few months ago and share custody of your child. Now, that child's birthday is fast approaching. What should you do? Do you both want to have individual parties, or is a shared birthday party the best option?

The first question to ask yourself is how well the two of you can get along. You must bring your own arguments and disagreements to the party. You have to stay civil and even act like friends -- if you can. Do not let your own issues take away from the fun and joy of your child's party.

The next thing to consider is what your child wants. Experts do note that kids typically want to have shared parties where both parents are present. This allows for one big celebration with all of the extended family and friends from both sides. Two smaller parties with divided guests are not as fun for kids. Remember, this is their day. Make it as perfect as you can.

One tip that can help is to pick a neutral location. If you have it at your house, your ex may feel like they were not involved at all. This could lead to jealousy or competition. It also can cause problems regarding who pays for what. Picking a neutral location allows you both to stay equally involved and split the costs down the middle.

Of course, you also need to know what legal rights you have under your child custody arrangement. Your custody plan and parenting plan may already address what to do when birthdays come around.

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