Whether you’re newly separated or have been following a custody schedule for several years, the holidays can be challenging when it comes to co-parenting with a former spouse. Since Halloween does not fall into the same “major holiday” category as Thanksgiving and Christmas, it can often be overlooked in drafting a custody agreement. What used to be a fun night of trick-or-treating can often turn into frustration and arguing when parties are unable to communicate. However, co-parenting at Halloween does not have to be so scary.
If you already have a custodial agreement in place that provides for Halloween visitation, then you should follow the provisions. However, for those that do not have definitive Halloween visitation or believe your Halloween arrangement needs some tweaking, discussing this with the other parent in advance can help avoid last minute anxiety and arguments.
The most important thing is to keep the children’s interest first and foremost. If your children are still getting used to the idea of the separation and adjusting to the split, a joint effort to take the kids trick-or-treating may be the best solution. However, this is not an opportunity to discuss finances, disparage the other parent, or have a new dating partner tag along. Furthermore, your child may want to trick-or-treat with friends in one parent’s neighborhood as they always have.
If you won’t be able to spend time with your kids on October 31st, there are numerous fall festivals and Halloween events throughout the month you can take advantage of. Stay apprised of your child’s school festivals and participate if able. Carving pumpkins, watching Halloween movies, and creating new October traditions with your little monster is a great alternative if you cannot spend the holiday with them.
Although you want to make new memories with your child, Halloween is your child’s holiday, not yours. They may not remember the costume they wore or how much candy they collected, but they will remember how their parents behaved. The holidays can be hard for children, especially when they used to celebrate with both parents. Keep your kids out of the discussion and do not make them decide which parent they will spend the evening with. Although it can be difficult, working with the other parent in an effective manner is in your child’s best interest.
Remember that as your children grow, you may also outgrow your custody arrangement. Whether you’re looking to modify your current custody schedule or are newly separated, let the experienced attorneys at Lake Norman Law Firm assist you in creating an agreement to fit you and your family.