Friday, February 12, 2010


A divorce might seem like the last thing you want to celebrate. But think about it: You just finished a long ordeal, a new chapter is beginning, and you really need to let off some steam. Every other major turning point in life gets a ritual—birthdays, graduation, the marriage you just ended—so why shouldn’t your newfound independence?

Pick a Theme or Activity
A divorce party is a celebration of the future as well as a burial of the past. Choosing a theme or activity will help crystallize your intentions and give the party a focus.

A spa day can highlight inner peace and renewal. A gentlemen’s night on the town—complete with steak, martinis, and cigars—signals the best of life is still ahead. A low-key evening at home with pizza, your favorite movies, and your dearest friends is a reminder that the simple things count the most.

Create Party Favors
Shop around for glasses, mugs, T-shirts, and other items that can be personalized affordably. Martini glasses with your name, the date, and a “free at last!” emblem are great for a ladies’ cocktail night. If you want something more understated, try an elegant box of chocolates, or make a CD of your favorite breakup songs. Even something simple, like homemade cookies, shows your guests that you treasure their friendship and leaves them with a memento of the occasion.

Invite Your Best Friends
The gal pals who always answered your midnight phone calls, the weekly poker buddies who kept you sane—these are the close, intimate friends you want at your divorce party. They supported you when you needed it most, and they’ll understand if you’re a tad more, ahem, emotional than usual.

Divorce parties often involve an intense sharing (even spilling) of feelings, as well as tipsiness, inappropriate laughter, or inappropriate piƱatas. Do you really want Jane from Accounting to see this? Coworkers and casual acquaintances should not be invited.

A few enlightened folks actually invite their exes. If it’s an amicable divorce, this lets your shared friends know they don’t have to pick sides. But even if you’re still friends with your ex, do not invite your children. Even well-adjusted kids will be angry or hurt to see Mom toasting her freedom from Dad, or vice versa.

Make the Most of Your Party
Do as much advanced preparation as possible so you can relax and enjoy yourself. This includes asking a friend to help with setup and cleanup if you’re celebrating at home, and appointing a designated driver if you go out (whether you plan to or not, you’ll probably drink more than usual).

Most important, remember that your divorce party is about you, not your ex. At the end of the night, you want to feel uplifted, optimistic, and loved. Toasting your future, and your friends, guarantees that you will.
Written by Jennifer DeMerritt

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at


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