Halloween is just one day of the year. When you have kids, the question should be, “How are we celebrating?” but, for divorced parents, the question is, “Who gets the kids?” Which parent gets to spend time with their child on Halloween in a joint custody situation? There are only so many hours to spare on October 31. Your Michigan divorce lawyer can help.
Get It in Writing
Like every other holiday, as well as birthdays and other major occasions, your parenting time agreement and child custody arrangement will identify which parent gets the kids on which holidays and in which years. You will put the details in writing about navigating Halloween after divorce.
Holiday and break parenting time takes precedence over the regular parenting time schedule. Halloween typically falls with the even-numbered years going to the father and odd-numbered years going to the mother. Unless, of course, you are willing to parent amicably enough to share trick-or-treating with your kids.
Divvy Up the Day If You Can
For some parents, celebrating Halloween with their kids only every other year is just not enough. Sometimes, couples can agree to split the festivities of the day to ensure that everyone gets a little time with your cute creatures in their costumes. For example, Dad goes to the school Halloween party and parade and Mom does the nighttime trick-or-treating.
Unfortunately, 2020 has put a wrench into everything, and your kids might not even be going to school in person. You may not have parties and parades. Your community may not be celebrating the holiday at all and trick-or-treating is discouraged or even banned. Halloween after divorce may be a non-issue and some divorced parents will welcome this easy out from having to share the holiday. Others will be saddened by missing out on the good stuff the year that they have their kids.
Settle on Alternative Activities
What divorced parents have been doing through the ages is finding ways to extend Halloween with their kids – costumes and Jack o’ lanterns and all – even if they don’t have their child in their presence on October 31. Haunted hayrides, visits to the pumpkin patch, and carving pumpkins the weekend before are all ways to capitalize on the season. You could even arrange a few early trick-or-treating visits to close neighbors or family members to experience the joy of it with your kids.
Agree on a COVID and Social Distancing Plan
Co-parents need to communicate with each other about how they plan to handle social distancing with the kids on Halloween. Will the trick-or-treaters be wearing masks as they march about the neighborhood? Are you staying home and having family-only activities? This year, you may have to get creative so you can still celebrate Halloween with your kids while not putting any of you at risk of contracting COVID-19. It’s important for parents to keep each other in the loop to avoid unnecessary stress or disagreements.
Ultimately, every holiday is about doing what’s best for the kids and working to maintain the traditions that are important to them – and developing new traditions when you need to. If you need help with your divorce, contact the family law attorneys at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb, MI, to schedule a meeting.