June is a beautiful time of year- flowers bloom, the weather finally turns warm, and summer is underway. It is also a time of year most notable for weddings, graduations and proms.
The sad reality is that what starts as a wedding can end as a divorce – and if you have children, with the divorce inevitably comes the stress of attending your children’s graduations, wedding and proms with your ex present.
Even a simple high school graduation is not such a simple event; there are graduation dinners and graduation lunches. You have to discuss college choices, career choices and launching your children into the “real world”.
The stress your children may have leaving home also has to be managed by you and your ex as co-parents. Your children may have concerns about prom dates, outfits, after prom events, all layered with the sadness of saying goodbye to high school friends.
It is important to think about how you want to appear at your children’s graduations and proms: (And of course at their weddings the same holds true)
(a) Not at all, because your divorce was so bitter that you can’t fathom standing in the same room or backyard as your ex?
(b) Showing up but making a scene with your ex?
(c) Civilly- realizing that both you and your ex are putting aside your differences to share in a happy time in your children’s lives.
Mediation will inevitably result in choice (c) since you and your ex (not a judge) have already decided the following issues in mediation:
• The cost of college: If your child is graduating from high school, there will be no arguing about paying for state vs. private college and how much each parent is contributing.
• Pre-college costs: application fees, college visits, SAT classes.
• Prom costs: When little Suzy asks for that $700 dress, you know exactly how much you and your ex are willing to contribute towards it.
In order to keep June a beautiful time of year, and your children’s milestones memorable, mediate your divorce, so that you and your ex can show up at that pre- prom party and wave goodbye to the limousine together.