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School Friends Birthday Parties
* Ive edited my post so that the main questions that were in the end of the post are now moved here to the top, as the post is a little lengthy and may put some people off reading. Please do share your view if you can*

Do guys here attend any school kids birthday parties together with the ex? I thought most if not all separated couples just attend separately?

Even if you get along with ex, is it realistic that you will both attend indefinitely?

Have you guys been in this situation and what have you done about it?

My feel is no court would ever force one parent to spend time with the ex, during their court-ordered time with the child? Is this a fair assumption?

Hey guys, I would love to get some opinions on an 'issue' that has just crept up with my ex.

We went through the courts and now I have our child every Wednesday overnight to/from school and every other weekend after school Friday to Sunday evening. This will extend to taking him Monday morning to school in a year, as per court order. So he will be under my care 5 nights a fortnight. And half of all holidays.

Our 5yo started school last September, reception class.

I think I made a mistake by initially agreeing with the ex in both of us attending the first birthday parties that our child was invited to by his school friends. I thought it was a great opportunity, and it was actually in that respect, for us and me mainly (as I spend less time with parents at school) to mingle, socialise and get to know them better. We had fun, it is great getting to meet all of my son's school friends, I play and laugh with them, and even the ex is fine and civilised and almost polite to me when we are together among other people. Of course she has to with so many people or 'witnesses'! One on one, the 'vibe' changes from her side, lol.

Problem is, each of the 5 birthdays we have been to so far has by chance fallen on the weekend that my son is with me. It has been as easy as could be organising to meet and sharing the details weeks in advance etc. 

Now this past Sunday, was the first party that happened to have fallen on the ex's weekend with our child. Well  I only found out about the party, by chance from another parent, as I ran into them on Friday on the street away from school. Invites had been sent by email 5 weeks earlier! 

Cut a long story short, I texted her aksing about the party detail... no reply!  I text again asking politely...again no reply other than asking me why i am trying to start a fight!  The on Sunday, on the day of the party, no details shared all morning again. Then I receive a text saying the party is in two hours and if I want to go I can.

I did manage to get back home in time, shower, change and just make it. Said nothing to her of course whilst there, played with my son and the chidren, had a good time with them and the parents. But it was plainly her trying to get me to react in a way which she can try to twist against me, as she has been trying for the pat almost 4 years since separation.  She has not accepted the midweek overnights yet, and it is clear from this and many other small things she is trying always to push me to react negatively in writing or in person (good luck with that, it will never happen).

So, I write to her offering her a choice, very politely of course.  We can continue, for the time being, both attending the kids bday parties together, the ones on my weekend BUT ALSO the ones on her weekend. But only as long as she can share the invite or details in good time so I too can plan ahead.  The other option I offered, and which is my ultimate preference, is that our child attends any bday party with the parent with whom he is on the day. Its the simplest 'solution', no room for tensions or arguments whatsoever.

She wrote back yesterday telling me how against her I am for trying to block her out of parties (!).  She says theres nothing in the order about parties. Her argument is that she has now formed close circle with the 'mothers' (not parents) and as such, the birthday invites are 'personal' invites!  So she states, not asks or suggests,  that she will attend any birthday party that falls on my weekend, but I should not attend the ones on hers(!).

I write back, explaining that invites are not personal they are for the child. That as we have seen often dads , even from married couples, take children to the party alone without mum if she is busy or whatever, even had a nanny! That parents should not be separated into 'fathers' and 'mothers.' That I too know all the parents and that the only reason I didn't choose to give my email to the parents lists for borthdays was to try to minimise any tensions and confusion with the ex as its all a bit fresh (overnights midweek started just in April).

I offered the compromise of continuing as we have but plainly for us to be free to both attend on parties regardless of whose weekend it falls, BUT only as long as invites or details are shared when received. If she can not ensure this, then I would prefer, that our child attends with the parent he is with on the day, alone!

Waiting for her response...

Smile Huh
Probably best to leave it . I would only attend school parties on her day if she invites you. As for parties falling on your day i would let her attend whilst you are getting on well at these events. If things were to be hostile then she has no right really to be there. Also remember you are under no obligation during your time to attend school parties and decision lays with you
Thanks, yes I guess that one of the options open to me. It obviously isn't fair but if this the only issue, and it has been the only issue recently worthy of emailing/communicating with the about, then I could compromise.

She acts or behaves fairly 'amicable' and almost polite in these parties, but the fact is she is very hostile to the level of care by the courts with our child. I was bombarded with emails and lost of nonsense 'our child said this' and 'he said that' for about 8 months until they slowed down recently. Our child is already settled with the Wednesday overnights, perfectly happy, confident and relaxed at home. As he has been for over 3 years since separation. I just hope that one day, the ex will start to just accept it all, settle down and abandon the idea that she might be able to change what ahs been ordered. She tried for a good 8 months after the order was made last year.

I would feel so much more at ease if it was just her on her weekend to any party, and just me on mine. Just the simplicity and clarity of it. No room for any 'confusion'.
Whilst you are getting on ok at parties i would let it continue. If you refused can imagine she will kick up a fuss . If she was to be hostile at parties i would definitely put a stop to it straight away.
I would say your time you attend and her time she attends. You’ve got to think about moving forward and that at some point it’s likely you or ex will attend with a a partner and things will get awkward.
Thanks guys. I guess I am trying to find a compromise by trying to ensure that we either both attend all parties or we attend separately. I worry that if I let it become established that she comes to the parties that fall on my weekend, but she goes alone with our boy on the ones one her weekend, her current weak argument (mother network) will have a little more weight and may be harder to change if/when it may need to?
Your time is your time, so if she does keep attending then politely state it’s your time and you outrank her in that time and you think it’s best if you attend separately.
I know Warwickshire that your relationship with your ex is a lot more hostile so attending together is probably not on the cards. How about you Astroman? Have you attended such school kids birthday parties together?

Really curious, statistically, what percentage of separated parents attend together. It would help to know.
I haven’t yet as they have fallen on her days or she’s asked if she can swap to take him and I’ve agreed plus I know the other parents anyway. However once my order is in place (my hearing post S7 report is next week so hope to finalise matters if we can) I will be taking son to parties in my time. Last thing I want is to be around ex and her bf whilst I’m trying to enjoy time with my son.
Thanks for that. It seems that if it wasn't for the bf you might have considered it though?

Also, I am trying to balance all the background facts , one of them being that even though we have been separated for almost 4 years, final orders were only made last year and Wednesday were extended to overnights in April. SO it is still fairly new-ish and she still is not in the place of acceptance and just moving forward. BUT she is able to be ok and as I said almost polite, at these events.

So I guess it may be a balancing act in deciding...Maybe letting some time for things to settle further.

Or is it better to nip it in the bud at an early stage, ie now?

Really not sure...

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