As the end of another school year approaches, many Arizona families will celebrate a child's graduation. This is a time of year that brings families together, including those who have been divided during divorce. Parents should expect to see a diverse blend of extended family on both sides, as well as family friends and their child's own friends. This is a time in which many aspects of a family's child custody agreement can and should be set aside.
It can be difficult to give up time with one's child, especially for parents who are used to adhering to a very stringent child custody schedule. Graduation season, however, presents a wide range of scheduling challenges, and meeting those challenges requires the active cooperation of both parents. Also, it merits stating that graduation is a time to celebrate the achievements of one's child and not to hash out lingering resentments between divorced parents.
One way to facilitate a smooth graduation week is to sit down and work out the schedule. Often, both sides of the family want to throw a party for the graduate, either before or after the ceremony. There may be grandparents or other extended family coming in from out-of-town, which might require a degree of flexibility. The new grad should be allowed to spend time with everyone who comes to celebrate his or her accomplishment, no matter how one side of the family feels about the other.
Parents would be well served to remember that graduation is not only the end of a child's secondary education; it also means that any and all child custody scheduling will soon be a thing of the past. Kids should be allowed to move through these last weeks or months of their childhood free from parental strife over scheduling. Soon enough, they will be able to make their own decisions about whom to visit and when -- a fact that Arizona parents might want to keep in mind.
Source: San Diego Patch, "Your Divorce Is Not Part Of Your Teen's Graduation", Susan C. Schena, March 31,2016