You’ve probably heard of wedding showers and baby showers, but you may not have heard of a divorce shower before.  Divorce showers are becoming a popular way to celebrate the freedoms that come with being newly divorced.  Others use it as a way to cheer up a friend if they are down in the dumps after splitting with their ex.  No matter what the reasons are behind the party, here are six steps to throwing a successful divorce shower.

1)  Don’t make it a surprise

Surprises are a nice touch to some birthday parties, but they shouldn’t be used for divorce showers.  Divorce is an emotional process, and you don’t want to surprise the divorcee.  A lot of people aren’t open about the divorce proceedings, so making the shower a surprise could conflict with an emotional mediation or court appearance.  Inform the divorcee about the party so they can plan ahead. Also, make sure you get the guest list pre-approved.  Sometimes friends and family members will have their own opinions during the divorce proceedings.  It is important that the guest of honor have a fun and stress-free time; it should not be a time to confront other individuals about their lack of support or support of the other party throughout the proceeding.

2)  Allow time to pass

Similar to Step 1, you want to let some time pass between the divorce and the shower.  Planning the party too soon after the divorce can be a bad idea if the divorcee is still struggling with moving on.

3)  Keep the kids at home

Regardless of whether the shower takes place at a restaurant or a friend’s house, bringing your child to the shower can make others feel uncomfortable.  Also, children should be kept out of divorce conversations to the extent possible, so consider leaving them at home.  If the divorcee has children, try to arrange the shower on a night where the children are with their ex or get a sitter to cover.  The shower should be a time where everyone can let loose, and that can be difficult to do if children are around.

4)  Chip in for a gift

Although you may be upset that the wedding gift you bought for the couple now resides in the ex’s house, consider chipping in for a gift.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but throwing in for a gift will be appreciated by the divorcee.  Plus, it can be a nice way to help replace some of the items they may have divided in the divorce.  Divorced couples are effectively going from one household to two households.  Some of the household necessities such a coffee maker might need to be replaced.

5)  Serve ample refreshments

Everyone should be able to indulge a little at the divorce shower.  Talk with those who are attending to coordinate who will bring drinks, snacks and desserts.  You don’t need to break the bank to feed everyone, so ask people to bring a bottle of wine or their favorite flavor of ice cream.

6)  Get creative and keep things lighthearted

Although wedding and baby showers are usually a little more formal, get creative and have a good time with the divorce shower.  Consider having a themed party, and have fun decorating and playing games.  Keep the shower light hearted, with a focus on new beginnings and freedoms, rather than bashing the ex-spouse or rehashing the divorce process.  Setting some simple ground rules, such as “no ex-bashing” and “no divorce questions,” can go a long way in making sure your party is a success!