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Dealing with Father's Day as a divorced dad

Father's Day can be one of the most difficult holidays for divorced dads. The first Father's Day after the divorce can be particularly challenging, especially if the dad isn't the custodial parent. He may not feel worthy of celebration. He may not even be able to get to be with his kids for the day.

If you're able to have your kids for the full day, consider yourself fortunate. Make the most of it. Do things that your kids will enjoy. Make the day a memorable one for them. Is there a Major League Baseball game in your area? How about a theatre production or a movie they'd like to see? If the kids are a little older and would like to plan the day, let them. It's important to memorialize the day with lots of photos that your kids can keep.

If you only get your kids for part of the day, make the most of it. Maybe have a nice brunch, either at home or in a nearby restaurant. A few hours can be special for you and the kids if you do it right. If you find yourself alone for part of the day, reach out to your own father or other dads who are spending Father's Day without their kids.

If you won't be able to spend Father's Day with your kids at all because of distance or custody issues, try to arrange for a way to touch base with them via Skype or other video chat. Perhaps you can send each of them a letter or email expressing just how much you're thinking of them on this day and what they mean to you.

It may be easy to write off Father's Day as one of those holidays created by the greeting card companies. However, the truth is that as Father's Day-themed ads begin to saturate the media, it's hard to ignore it. If you'd like to ensure that you'll be able to spend that day (or weekend) with your kids each year, you and your attorney can work to have that stipulated in your parenting plan. Of course, it's only fair to offer the same to your ex-wife for Mother's Day.

Source: The Spruce, "Father's Day for Divorced Dads," Wayne Parker, accessed June 14, 2017

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