Halloween is a holiday that most kids look forward to every year – and so do most parents. Just the same, it’s seldom addressed in most parenting plans because it isn’t considered a major holiday.
That can leave divorced parents in a little bit of a bind when they realize that they don’t have a clear agreement on how the event is supposed to be handled. Here are three possibilities:
1. You share the holiday and all associated events
If you and your co-parent have gotten to a place where you can put aside your past differences and operate like a true parenting team, you’ll probably delight your children by simply doing everything together.
This means maintaining clear communication about everything from costume choices (and who is paying for them) to trick-or-treating plans. Whether you walk the kids around together or one of you passes out candy while the other takes the kids on their rounds, a united front can make it easier for your children to enjoy the festivities.
2. You hold separate celebrations
If you and your co-parent aren’t quite at the place where you can work together on this, it may be better to have separate Halloween celebrations – just make certain that you both maintain your boundaries and stay respectful of each other’s plans.
This could mean taking the kids trick-or-treating twice (each in your own neighborhood, so long as the times don’t overlap), or it could mean one of you takes the kids out in their costumes and the other holds “pizza and scary movie night,” instead.
3. You alternate by the year
If your relationship with your co-parent is fraught with a lot of hostility or you live at some distance from each other, it may be easiest to simply “trade” the holiday each year.
You may also be able to work out an agreement where whoever misses out on Halloween gets time with the kids on another special day that’s also not listed in your parenting plan, like New Year’s Eve.
Ideally, you and your co-parent will be able to work out the details surrounding this holiday and other events amicably, always keeping the best interests of your children in mind. If your parenting plan seems inadequate, however, it may be time to seek modifications.