When you and your co-parent worked out your custody agreement and parenting plan, you likely addressed how you would divide or alternate custody of your children on major holidays. Often, parents don’t consider “lesser” holidays. However, some of those can be just as important to kids — and maybe to one or both of you.
Take, for example, Halloween. With candy, decorations and costumes already on store shelves, if you have young kids, you’re likely remembering what a big deal this holiday is for them. If you and your co-parent don’t have a plan for Halloween detailed in any of your agreements, now is the time to start thinking about it. There are a number of options.
One option is to each take the kids to one or more Halloween festivities. Likely there are multiple school, neighborhood and church Halloween celebrations. Decide which parent will accompany the kids to each one. You can also divide activities like pumpkin shopping and carving.
You may want to give trick-or-treating duty to whichever parent is scheduled to have the kids Halloween night. If you and your co-parent live near each other, you may want the kids to make the rounds in both of your neighborhoods. Another option is to take the kids trick-or-treating together. Don’t try that unless you can amicably spend time together.
If you’re not able to spend time with your kids around Halloween, perhaps because you don’t live near them anymore, you can create new traditions. Most kids won’t object to an early Halloween celebration a couple of weeks early or a trip to a haunted house in November.
If Halloween custody becomes a source of conflict this year and one or more of your kids has a few more years of trick-or-treating left before they move on to Halloween parties with friends, you and your co-parent may want to revisit your custody agreement and detail how you’ll divide custody for Halloween celebrations or perhaps each spend alternate years with the kids.
This might also be a good time to look at birthdays, Fourth of July, Mother’s and Father’s Day and other days that are important to the kids and/or you. Your family law attorney can help you.