College and High School Graduation for Divorced Parents

College and high school graduation are a time for celebration, and this should not change for a family with divorced parents. The focus of graduation ceremonies and parties should always be the child; divorced parents need to remember this and act in a way that puts the child first. This milestone may look different for each family depending on the dynamic, but the ultimate goal at hand for every family should be to prioritize the best interests of the child.

Mr. David Badanes Esq. of Badanes Law Office on Long Island has shared advice on how divorced parents can enjoy their child’s graduation, so that it remains a celebration.

  • Parents should receive the tickets. When a couple separates, new partners often come into the family, but, regardless of how involved new partners are in a child’s life, the child’s parents should receive graduation tickets first. If a child receives extra tickets to a graduation, new partners can use the extra tickets in that situation. If you do not have enough tickets for the parents and new partners, talk to the principal of the high school or college to see if they could provide any extra tickets.
  • There is no need to sit together. Parents are there to support their child, but this does not mean they need to sit in the same place. If sitting together could take the focus off the child, then divorced parents should choose to sit apart.
  • If you see your ex-spouse, be cordial. A graduation is not the time to discuss the divorce or argue with your ex-spouse. Your child will be watching you and will sense if you fight with your ex. Keep the focus on the child.
  • Parties can be together or separate. If you get along with your ex-spouse, a joint graduation party may be a good idea. However, if you suspect this could lead to conflict, then separate graduation parties may be a better decision. Just ensure the parties occur on different days.
  • Do not compete with your ex. If your ex can afford an expensive graduation party or gift, do not feel the need to match their expense with a party or gift you cannot afford. There is no need to compete with your ex over gifts for your child—your child knows and understands your financial situation.

Graduation ceremonies and parties are wonderful opportunities to celebrate your child and separated parents should do everything they can to maintain this celebration. This may look different for each family, but everyone should make decisions in the best interests of the child.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. provides real-world advice to help you through this challenging time. If you are contemplating getting a divorce, and need an attorney to represent you, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702, email at or visit our web site: The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.

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