Is this your first Halloween as a newly divorced or recently separated parent? While most parenting plans aim to divide major holidays as fairly as possible between co-parents, Halloween can easily be overlooked. Even though it’s a big event for a lot of children (and their parents) it’s still considered a minor holiday by the courts.
If you haven’t addressed Halloween within your parenting plan, it’s not too early to start discussing it with your co-parent.
What should you be talking about?
Every family does things a little bit differently, but some of the most common concerns include:
- Who will take the kids shopping for their costumes? Are there any limits on style or design that have to be considered?
- Who will pay for the costumes? Can you agree to split the costs, up to a certain dollar limit?
- Which co-parent’s neighborhood will the kids use for trick-or-treating? If they are on two different days or times, can the kids go trick-or-treating in both locations?
- Is there a school event, like a costume parade or homeroom party? Will you both attend?
- Are you comfortable sharing trick-or-treat with your co-parent? Are you able to do so without any tension, so that you don’t negatively affect your children’s experience?
If you and your co-parent have reached a stage where you can interact comfortably and cordially, walking the kids around together can be the best option for everybody. If you’re not, you may need to split things up. In that situation, one parent can take over the trick-or-treat duties, while the other can enjoy pumpkin carving and movie night with the kids.
With all parenting arrangements, flexibility and creativity are key. If your parenting plan seems inadequate, however, it may be time to seek more legal guidance about your options.