If you and your co-parent are newly separated, you may not have worked out how you’re going to “share” your child over various holidays. Even if you have done that, Halloween may not have been one of the holidays you considered.
If your child is still young enough to be excited about Halloween, you’ve probably already realized that you’ll need to negotiate just how the two of you will share in Halloween festivities with them. Halloween is a lot more than a one-day celebration. There are plenty of opportunities to participate in Halloween activities with your child.
If you and your co-parent are able to do this amicably, you can divide and conquer the various school, church, neighborhood and other local celebrations. If you’re happy to leave all of those to your co-parent, you can still share the Halloween “season” with your child by decorating, pumpkin carving, making a costume or just watching Halloween movies on TV.
If you live in an area where kids still go trick-or-treating, there are a number of ways you can handle Halloween night. Whoever has your child that night can take them, you can each take them in your own neighborhood or you can even make it a family evening if you can do so without conflict. If a friend, neighbor or relative offers to take them with their kids, that could be the best way to resolve the issue.
Lessons learned around Halloween can be useful as other holidays come along
This is just the beginning of the big holiday season, so it’s an opportunity to practice your co-parenting communication and negotiating skills. It’s also important to realize that co-parents often need to learn to celebrate holidays over a few days or even weeks with their child rather than worry about whether they have them on specific holidays.
That being said, you have every right to seek the holidays you want to spend with your child – or at least to alternate them. What’s crucial to keep in mind is your child’s best interests. It’s more important for them to enjoy Halloween activities with you while they’re still young enough to want to than to get exactly what you want. Having sound legal guidance will help you work these into your custody agreement and parenting plan.