29 answers

Birthday Party When Parents Are Separated

So my ex and i have been separated for over a year now and our eldest son's 4th birthday is this friday and i'm planning a party for him on sunday. my question is: is it ok for my ex to invite himself, his girlfriend and her two daughters? don't divorced parents have separate parties? i would be fine having them there if he were willing to chip in on the cost of the party, isn't that reasonable? he hasn't been paying any child support, and only sees our kids by chance because they go to his mom's house one day a week and he's temporarily living there. he doesn't even call them.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow thank you all for your great advice. just to clarify my kids do know her and her kids and my ex does see them the once a week they go to his mom's house and he occasionaly has them over for the night. so here's what went down: i told him i really wouldn't feel comfortable with his girlfriend and her kids at the part but asked if he would still come and be there for our son. he gave some non-commital reply and i found out through his mom that he wasn't coming. BUT his mom and her husband had planned to take my son to a hockey game on his birthday and my ex and his girlfriend went with them. so my boys got to celebrate the birthday on his side of the family and then i had the party with my side of the family (his mom and step-dad came to it also, we are on good terms) so it worked out well for everyone. thanks again for all the great advice!!!

Featured Answers

It needs to be a joint decision, if it is a joint party. Either share the costs, or have two (and the exes can be invited to the other if in agreement). He should NOT invite himself to anything you are doing.

3 moms found this helpful

Could you say, great see you there, and by the way please bring the cake and drinks for everyone. That way, it's not a money issue, it's just getting him to play a part in the event.

PS if you do this be very specific about what kind of cake and where to get it (you could even order it ahead of time, he could pick it up and pay for it) and which drinks and how much, so he doesn't do a half-azzd job of it.

1 mom found this helpful

No it is no O.K for him to do that. Tell him not to come unless he pays all back child support, the whole party UP FRONT plus day care for his girlfriends to kids.

More Answers

It's o.k. if you're ok with it. You have every right to ask he help pay too.

Have you asked your son what he wants? Sounds as if he doesn't see his father much so he may tell you No. If having Dad there would cause him any stress, especially with GF/kids in tow, then I would tell your ex that he should have his own party if he wants to. However as absent from your son's life as he is, I wouldn't bet on it. If your child says he wants Dad there, then yes I would definitely insist he pitch in and pay for half. It’s his son too.

Also if he doesn't see his father much how well can he know the GF and her kids. I don't know. I would put the feelings of my child first. It's his birthday.

By the way, I’m divorced and my ex and I did have parties together, with no significant others until my daughter was about 7. Then we did separate parties. It was just easier and less stress.

I will not even get into the issue that he doesn’t pay child support….=-)

3 moms found this helpful

I think every situation is different. Some parents are ok having joint parties. My ex and I have a 6 yrs. old daughter and we have always had separate parties.

You need to take his butt to court to get the child support that your children deserve.

3 moms found this helpful

I think its valid you feel the way you do, as your the one covering the cost of the party. But for the sake of your son, he'd probably love it if both his parents celebrated it together. So for the sake of your son, what is the cost of 4 more people???

3 moms found this helpful

Me personally, my answer would be NO, it is not okay. Some people might tell you to take the high road with this, but if it were me, I'd explain that he's welcome to schedule a time to take your son for a birthday outing at another time, if he chooses to (or perhaps that he's welcome to come solo without his New Life Entourage...)

I find it to be in poor taste that he would invite not only himself, but his girlfriend and her kids as well, without consulting you. I don't know where your boundaries with him were before, but this is a good time to start figuring out what you want them to be. If it's fine with you that he and these new people in his life come, that's certainly your choice. For me, personally, I would be concerned about how my son would feel esp. because his father isn't making any extra effort to see him, and now dad doesn't just come solo, but with other children in tow. The focus doesn't just get to be him. Add to this--is this what you want the other guests to focus on? (or perhaps everyone involved knows everyone else and so this is no big thing?)

I wouldn't even bring up the 'chipping in' or 'you aren't paying child support' arguments. Leave them out of it entirely. Consider this as you would setting boundaries with a toddler-- in this instance, do you want this to be a discussion at every birthday your children have? Consistency, consistency. From your description of your soon-to-be ex, it sounds like he's very comfortable taking advantage of the good nature of others. (and you need to get an order of child support through the courts...he needs to be paying this.)

The Miss Manners in me says "beyond the pale!" but perhaps other posters have different feelings on the matter...

3 moms found this helpful

It needs to be a joint decision, if it is a joint party. Either share the costs, or have two (and the exes can be invited to the other if in agreement). He should NOT invite himself to anything you are doing.

3 moms found this helpful

Normally I would say that the parents should suck it up and get along for the party. New wives or girlfriends and their kids need not attend -unless the birthday child has become step-siblings with them or really likes them. However, you need to take him to court ASAP for child support! Why wouldn't you force him to pay for his kids? I would tell him that the fact that he makes no effort to pay for, call/contact or even see his children means he gets no special treatment. I would let him know the next time he saw me would be in court. So, NO, it is NOT okay for him to invite himself and the girlfriend and her kids! HE should attend and HE should give money for the party. Even if he doesn't do that, he should come because this is his child and it will be important to your son. Make sure he understands that he is to come alone and should pay. If he doesn't, he's a worm and a loser.

2 moms found this helpful

I have seen some really great divorced dad's show up at soccer games, birthday parties, and every one of their kids events alone. Girlfriends stay at home! This way dad can focus his son and this is what the function is about. By bring the girlfriend and her children he would have him entertaining. When ever the girlfriends are around the moms feels bad and dad watches the girlfriend, not the child. If he wishes to come to his son's birthday he should come alone. The cost would be smaller for you and your son can see his dad. "We don't have the room or food for 4 more people, he would love it if his dad shows comes." Don't say anything to your son just incase he doesn't show.

2 moms found this helpful

You need to get a lawyer, he should be paying support.

As for the party, it is up to you. It would probably be nice for your son to have both parents at his party, but I would draw the line at girlfriends and her kids for now, you do not need that drama at a party you are throwing (live in gfs or new wives are different since they are also part of your child's family). And if he wants to come to the party and be a parent, than yes, he should pitch in. Tell him you would welcome him, and only him, but that he needs to bring .........and include a list of supplies.

2 moms found this helpful

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