For most kids, dressing up for Halloween and going trick or treating is a highlight of the year. Just because you are now divorced does not mean you and your kids cannot have a great time on October 31.
However, the key to a successful Halloween, when parents are divorced, involves making plans in advance, and working out child custody and parenting time schedules so that both parties get to enjoy time with their costumed kids.
If you and your ex live near each other, make arrangements so that kids can go trick or treating in both neighborhoods. If one parent’s schedule allows them to go home earlier, they can take the children out and then drop them off at the other parent’s home, so the kids can continue their adventures.
If the relationship is amicable, there is no reason both parents cannot go trick or treating with the children. It shows the kids that even if their parents have serious differences, they can put them aside on occasions when it is important to their offspring.
Often, it is not possible for both parents to enjoy Halloween with their kids. As with other holidays, split Halloween so that one year one parent does the October 31 honors, and the other has the night before or after. Or perhaps takes the kids to a neighborhood Halloween-themed party on an off night.
Unlike Christmas and Thanksgiving, kids outgrow certain aspects of Halloween, so there are not that many years that you may have to make this parental arrangement.
Do not force your kids to make a choice about whom they would rather spend Halloween. That is not fair; but kids will understand alternating the date and activities.
School-age children usually want to go trick or treating with their friends. If their friends live in the custodial parent’s neighborhood, that may prove a problem if the non-custodial parent lives in an area where they do not know anyone.
Again, work out a compromise so that if the child really does not have much interest in trick or treating by themselves with the parent, rather than their friends, they can do some other Halloween activity with the non-custodial parent, such as carving jack-o-lanterns prior to October 31.
Many elementary schools have Halloween parties. Work out with your former spouse who will attend this event – although there is no reason both of you cannot go, unless you feel uncomfortable. Whether you should both attend depends on the level of acrimony in your post-marital relationship.
The last thing your child or their classmates should experience are parents arguing in public on Halloween. Parents should always try to remain civil in the presence of their child. Halloween is a time of “pretend” fright for kids, not real fright or embarrassment by a parent’s behavior.
If you and your former spouse are engaged in child custody disputes, you need the services of the experienced Eatontown Divorce lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, LLC. Call 732-493-9400 or complete our convenient online contact form today. From our offices in Eatontown, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including those in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County and Ocean County, as well as the communities of Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Freehold, Holmdel, Howell, Jackson, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, and Rumson, New Jersey.