Stores are currently overflowing with Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat candy flourishes on display counters. Any day now, fresh Christmas ornaments will be for sale. You might even find a set of porcelain pilgrims to purchase.
October marks the beginning of the three month holiday marathon which is supposed to be a time of fun, thanksgiving and joy. Instead, for divorced parents, the difficulties of co-parenting during the holiday season are often compounded. Here are some tips to help you co-parent for Halloween, keeping in mind the best interest of the children.
Communicate with the other parent
During the month of October, students often have school holiday events. Both parents should have a school calendar and be aware of the dates of the events and what is expected of the children. The custodial parent should keep the non-custodial one in the loop even if only by email or texting. For example, if there is a field trip planned, like to a pumpkin patch, be sure a parent has signed the permission slip and that the children are dressed appropriately for the day of the event.
How to deal with trick-or-treating or Halloween parties
The parent at whose house the children will be on Halloween needs to be sure the costumes are with the children. If the children leave one parent’s house in the morning, and will be picked up after school by the other parent, be sure the costume is not left behind at the wrong house.
Consider the wants and needs of the children above the needs of the parent. If you are the parent that has custody or visitation for the holiday evening, but the children would prefer to spend the evening in the more familiar neighborhood where they spend more time, be flexible about changing your plans to best meet the needs of the children.
Check your final divorce papers regarding custody and visitation
The custody agreement generally defines which parent has custody of the children for certain holidays. If Halloween is not mentioned, work out acceptable terms with the other parent. If it is spelled out in writing, you either must comply with the order or ask the court for a modification.