Halloween is just around the corner and your kids may be counting down the days until they can dress up and celebrate. As a parent, though, you may think differently about Halloween, particularly if you share custody of your kids and this is the first year you will be splitting the holiday.
Unfortunately, sticky situations can arise, but addressing them sooner rather than later can help you avoid them or resolve them before they get too frightening. Below are three common types of disputes that could arise during Halloween, and what you can do to address or prevent them.
- You can’t agree on whether it’s a holiday. Maybe you forgot about Halloween when you were making a list of holidays in your parenting plan, or maybe one of you hates Halloween and never celebrates. If you can’t see eye-to-eye on whether Halloween is a holiday, think about what your child wants and see if you can accommodate his or her wishes.
- A child wants to spend Halloween with the other parent. This can happen if the other parent lives in a house closer to your child’s friends or in a neighborhood with better trick-or-treating options. Under these circumstances, you might consider letting your child spend time with each of you on Halloween together or separately, depending on the nature of your relationship with the other parent.
- You can’t agree on the ground rules. When is bedtime on Halloween? Can curfews be extended? Are there restrictions on candy consumption? Who will pay for the costumes? These are all questions that can come up on Halloween, so it is a good idea to talk about them with the other parent in advance. Even if you can’t agree on everything, you can set some basic ground rules and know what to expect.
Halloween plans and traditions can change based on your kids’ ages and whether it falls on a weekday or weekend. Because of this, people tend to overlook the issues that can arise. Unfortunately, this can ruin the holiday for you and your kids.
In order to avoid these and other distressing scenarios, start discussing plans sooner, rather than later. If you are in the process of divorce, keep these things in mind as you create your parenting plan. Should serious problems or fights arise, talk to your attorney right away.