After divorce or separation holidays can be a tough time for many families. It’s very common to go to battle over holiday traditions and time spent with each parent. This becomes a big negotiation point during most custody battles. Halloween, though, is different than the other major holidays and that it is about a fun day for your child(ren). Being able to keep Halloween mostly about the child, trick or treating, all the candy and costume-making is an exciting time for school-aged children. It’s best to decide in advance what your family’s arrangement will be on Halloween and add this to the holiday list in your parenting plan.
Some things we have seen done with our clients over the years with sharing Halloween fun with their children. It’s always best to keep in mind that after divorce or separating, holidays and birthdays are going to be done differently for both parents – what used to be one family is now two and everyone is going to have to manage for their child’s best interests. Parents need to understand that maintaining a sense of normalcy, creating traditions for their children for holidays and birthdays so they stay a happy occasion is crucial for their child’s well-being after a divorce.
As with everything in divorce and coparenting, communication is key. We have found one of the best ‘fits all sizes’ fixes for Halloween is for it to be decided upon beforehand during custody planning. Forgetting smaller holidays like Halloween in your parenting plan can cause tension in your coparenting arrangement and ultimately hurt the kids.
We have seen Halloween done several ways over the years and sometimes how families do Halloween will change as their families get used to the changes, grow and tensions relax a bit. Some parents who split up amicably have decided to take their children out trick or treating together and enjoy those few hours of fun together with their kids. Others will split up the day or even make Halloween a two day holiday where one parent gets one day for Halloween and the other parent gets the next. In this scenario each parent gets a chance to do something fun with the child, and the child gets an extended Halloween experience. There is also the choice of alternating years for Halloween. Mom with even years and dad with odd, and visa versa.
The fun thing about Halloween is many schools have Halloween activities that the children put on where both parents can come and be involved in the fun and excitement that children have around Halloween. The most important thing to remember when it comes to Halloween and holidays with your kids in your new family dynamic — the kids experience is most important.
If you’re going through a divorce or separation, Murfreesboro Family Law is here to help. Our experienced Family Law attorneys have helped thousands of families navigate their settlements and arrange the best custody schedules possible for their children and their new family.