You've just gotten the kids back into their school routine, and now Halloween candy and decorations are taking over the store shelves. If Halloween wasn't among the holidays you and your co-parent included in your parenting plan, you're not alone. Many divorcing parents only address who will have the kids on the "big" holidays.
However, any special day that means a lot to your kids (or to you) is worth including. That can include birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Fourth of July and -- if your kids are still young -- probably Halloween.
If you and your co-parent don't have documented custody arrangements for Halloween, there are a number of options you can choose from to make this Halloween special for the kids and less stressful for you and your co-parent.
Many co-parents split up Halloween activities. Most kids won't say no to multiple Halloween gatherings or trick-or-treating outings. Whoever is scheduled to have custody of the kids on Halloween night can take them trick-or-treating, and the other parent can take them to another event in the days before or after.
Some co-parents are able to make Halloween trick-or-treating a family event. Only try that if you and your ex can be around each other for that long and remain pleasant. Otherwise, your kids could come to associate the holiday with parental fights. Some parents trade off custody of the kids on Halloween, alternating years.
Your kids are only going to want to celebrate Halloween with you for a limited time. Before you know it, Halloween will mean parties with friends. Therefore, it's best when co-parents can work together to make the holiday a special time for their children while they're young.
If you don't have Halloween included in your parenting plan or if you're still working out the details, you may want to talk with your co-parent about codifying some expectations for the holiday. Your family law attorney can help you do that.