female child wearing sunglasses and hat with a face paint on face

4 Tips for an Unconventional Father’s Day Plan 

June 15, 2021
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain

Father’s Day: these two words often conjure up images of Dad at the BBQ, a gifted tie (or maybe, in today’s world, a polo shirt), and a late-afternoon, post-beer snooze in a hammock with a ballgame or golf in the background. 

However, what if you’re divorced? What if you never married your co-parent? What if you’re separated? What if you’re just on a break, or have a messy relationship with your child or ex-spouse? 

Taking a cue from our popular blog post 4 Tips for an Unconventional Mother’s Day Plan, we have four tips to help you plan for Dad’s special day. 

  1. What is Your Child Used to? Sorry to break it to you if you’re a father who’s reading this, but Father’s Day is just as much about the children as it is the dads (especially if your child is young). So, what have you done in the past? A ballgame, a trip to the movies, a walk to the corner bakery— are you making a concentrated effort to duplicate past Father’s Day experiences, or create new ones? Figuring out what your child(ren) may need from Father’s Day is a good place to start. 
  2. Can the Day Be Split? Although Father’s Day parenting time is virtually always awarded to the father, and Mother’s Day to the mother, there may be a reason to consider splitting the day. Were you in a same-sex relationship, and so there are two dads? Is the father of your co-parent in very poor health, and you recognize this may be his last Father’s Day? Do the children have another father figure in their lives, i.e., a stepfather, one spouse’s new boyfriend, even a beloved uncle? Is there a way for your parenting time arrangement to split the day between two houses amiably? Dealing with the question of a split as soon as possible ensures the possibility of multiple families being happy on Father’s Day. 
  3. Can an Alternate Day Be Selected to Celebrate? Basically, this question boils down to, what are you doing the last Sunday in June? The truth is, making memories with a child— and perhaps a new significant other— doesn’t have to be on Father’s Day. And the memories don’t have to be elaborate to be meaningful, either: a homemade waffle breakfast with a whipped cream fight or a catch in the backyard as the sun sets are perfect, low-cost Father’s Day plans. Or, if there is someone significant your child wishes to honor as a father figure, be willing to discuss allowing a celebration on one of your other parenting days. 
  4. How can you honor the holiday? The spirit of Father’s Day is to thank Dad (and the father figures in life), and for fathers and children to spend time together. That’s it. Even during as difficult a time as divorce, if you can figure that out (and using these tips, you can), you’ll have honored Father’s Day. 

We wish all the fathers and father figures out there a safe, enjoyable and Happy Father’s Day! 

Going through a difficult divorce, and not sure how to handle special holidays this year? Need a new parenting plan? We can help. Reach out to the Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC Family Law Department at: https://lmllawyers.com/family-law/ or (201) 488-1161.