When you and your spouse were working through your child custody/visitation agreement and parenting plan, you likely focused on big holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. However, before you get to those, there’s Halloween.
If you have young kids for whom parental involvement in Halloween is still required, this can be a source of multiple conflicts — particularly if this is your first year apart. So how do both parents find a way to share Halloween with their children?
First, it’s essential to remember that this holiday, perhaps more than all others, is for kids. That means you need to find a way to make it work. Don’t let conflicts about what costumes are appropriate, how much candy your kids are allowed to keep and who gets to take them trick or treating ruin the holiday for them.
If your kids want to trick or treat in the neighborhood where they spend most of their time, along with their friends, let them do that. Perhaps you can both go with them. Maybe one of you can stay home and greet trick or treaters while the other accompanies the kids.
The parent who now lives elsewhere may choose to get involved in events before Halloween, like a trip to a local pumpkin patch or haunted house. You may want to host a scary movie night for them and their friends the weekend before Halloween.
You and your spouse should talk over these things well in advance, away from your kids, and resolve your areas of disagreement. As your kids get older, they’ll want more of a say in their Halloween plans, and those plans may not involve you.
If you and your co-parent have a difficult time working out Halloween plans that you’re both comfortable with and you’ve got a few more years of kid-focused Halloweens ahead of you, you may want to consider making modifications to your custody agreement and parenting plan to include that holiday. Your Tennessee family law attorney can help you do that.