When separated or divorced parents are putting together their parenting plan, they may negotiate custody or parenting time for holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. However, Halloween is another holiday that is important to many children that may get overlooked by co-parents. If the October holiday is not addressed in your and your ex’s parenting plan, there are tips you can both follow to help facilitate sharing the holiday and your children with their other parent.
Ultimately, both of you should remember that whatever arrangement you come to, it should serve your child’s or children’s best interests. You should not try to force an arrangement for Halloween that interferes with your children’s enjoyment of the holiday.
Consider Trick-or-Treating Together
Younger children often want to partake in many of the activities that are traditionally part of Halloween, such as decorating, carving pumpkins, dressing up in costumes, and trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating is often one of the most memorable bonding experiences of your children’s lives, so both you and your spouse may understandably want to be a part of your child’s or children’s trick-or-treating experiences before they grow out of it. You and your ex may want to consider taking your child or children out trick-or-treating together if you are on amicable terms or can avoid having arguments or discussions about your relationship in front of your children.
Split the Day So You Both Get to Do the Activities You Enjoy with Your Children
Of course, not every parent particularly enjoys trick-or-treating. If you and your ex enjoy different activities of the Halloween holiday, you might also consider splitting up the day so that each of you gets to participate in the activities you enjoy with your child. For example, if you enjoy carving pumpkins and watching your child in school activities while your ex enjoys taking your children out trick-or-treating, you can split those activities between yourselves.
Start New Traditions Around Halloween
Alternatively, if there are Halloween traditions your kids enjoy that you are not particularly enthusiastic about, you and your ex can chose divvy up parenting time so that your ex can spend Halloween with your children, while you and your children can find new traditions to partake in on the days around Halloween, such as making their costume, baking, or watching Halloween-themed movies.
Alternate Custody on Halloween on an Annual Basis
If you and your ex can’t find a way to split up time on and around Halloween or if you both have a contentious relationship with one another, you might also consider amending your parenting plan to alternate custody or parenting time on Halloween every year, with one parent celebrating with your children on even years and the other parent celebrating on odd years. However, if your children are beginning to get older and are starting to grow out of Halloween traditions, keep in mind when you start alternating so that either of you doesn’t feel like you’ve been shortchanged a year if one year your children suddenly no longer want to carve pumpkins, dress up in costumes, or go trick-or-treating, or want to start spending Halloween with their friends instead of their parents.
Contact a Hamilton Township Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Custody in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lenton & Duff, LLC represent clients throughout the state, including Trenton, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, and Princeton. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (609) 834-3960 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 2681 Quakerbridge Rd., Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.