As Halloween approaches, children should be able to be excited about their costumes, eating tons of candy, and enjoying holiday activities with their friends and community. Youngsters should not be burdened with worries about the details of their mom and dad’s parental agreement. Parents who have gone through divorce must keep the focus on the fun of the holiday without allowing their own wishes detract from their child’s enjoyment of Halloween.
Co-parents should be able to put aside their disputes for the sake of the children, especially on such a child-centered event as Halloween. Although it may not be easy, it is certainly best for your children to believe that their parents can get along.
As parents, you and your ex-spouse have a responsibility to make sure the needs of your children come first. Working out a plan to put your children at the center of the arrangement is the best way to ensure that the children do not feel torn or weighed down by the expectations of their parents who should be able to handle the situation like adults.
When is the Best Time to Make a Halloween Co-Parenting Plan?
The best way to keep co-parenting issues from ruining the in-the-moment fun of Halloween is to work out the details in the parenting plan when you negotiate the terms during divorce. Many divorcing couples discuss a plan for sharing holidays and put the agreement in writing, which provides legal legitimacy and a sense that the agreement is authoritative.
If Halloween is not part of your signed co-parenting contract, at least make sure you discuss the arrangement well in advance of the holiday so that everyone has a chance to adjust their schedule accordingly.
What are some Suggestions for Co-Parents?
Many co-parents agree to alternate Halloween every other year, allowing one parent to have the child one year with the other parent taking them the following year. Other co-parents opt to split the holiday up, allowing one parent to take the child for a few hours before handing off to the other parent for the latter part of the evening. Still others make an effort to allow the child to have both parents present for trick-or-treating, even if that means putting their own problems aside.
Since Halloween is a one-day holiday, there are only a few hours to enjoy trick-or-treating. If both parents can be there, it might be the best way to share the holiday with your child. It is also a great opportunity to show your child that you and their other parent can set aside their differences to make Halloween feel special.
This approach also allows the child to have a say in which friends they prefer to be with and which neighborhood or community to visit for trick-or-treating.
What if the Couple Disagrees about Who has the Children on Halloween?
The day of the week that the holiday happens to fall on may determine who gets to have the children. If your co-parenting agreement does not specify a special arrangement for Halloween, you may be left with no other choice but to accept that your child’s other parent will get to have them on Halloween.
If no other arrangement can be worked out, it may have to be that whichever parent has the child on the custody schedule on the night of Halloween gets to take the child out for trick-or-treating.
Is There Flexibility Concerning Halloween in the Co-Parenting Agreement?
If you can come up with a different plan that works better for everyone, no judge is going to tell you that you must adhere to the schedule as it is set forth in the official co-parenting agreement.
The only way it would become an issue is if one or the other parent was unhappy with any adjustment to the plan and brought it up as a point of contention to be addressed by the court.
Are There Other Options for Families Concerning Halloween?
If the situation is particularly uncomfortable or volatile, it may be better to make separate plans rather than forcing yourself into the day’s events. If this is the case, there are plenty of Halloween-themed options you can enjoy with your child in the time leading up to the actual holiday. The night before Halloween or even weekend before, you can make time for special bonding experiences such as carving pumpkins, watching scary movies, telling ghost stories in the dark, or visiting a haunted house.
With a little planning, you can spend time together making the costume your child will wear for Halloween, or you can plan a trip together to visit the pumpkin patch or take a hayride together.
Some communities offer trunk-or-treat events, costume contests, or fall festivals that you might be able to enjoy with your child. You might also be able to volunteer at their school to chaperone a costume ball or help with a school costume parade.
Although it may seem like a big deal to you to miss out on spending Halloween together, your child is likely to be more focused on the friends, activities, and treats. If you keep it positive, they will be fine with the plan that keeps the family drama at bay, and they will be excited to tell you all about the fun when you are back together again.
Baltimore County Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Divorcing Parents Understand Their Parental Rights
If you are in the process of a custody battle with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you should talk to a lawyer who can help you understand the complexities of custody law. The Baltimore County child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can support you in your efforts to reach a favorable child custody agreement. Our experienced and compassionate legal team will give you the help and support you deserve. For more information and a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 443-589-0150. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.