Trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition in many households; a tradition where lasting memories are created between parents and their children. Children look forward to dressing up as their favorite princess or superhero, their favorite ghost or ghoul, or their favorite monster or goblin; parents look forward to ever-lasting pictures and memories.
What happens when a divorce or separation gets in the middle of Halloween fun?
Nothing, unless you let it.
This year Halloween falls on the 5th weekend of the month. Parents who have possession of their children pursuant to a Standard Possession Order will have their children on Halloween. After this year, Halloween will not be part of the Standard Possession Order periods of possession until Thursday, October 31, 2019. The fact of the matter is that it should not matter whose “weekend” it is. Do not make Halloween about whose weekend it is; make it about the children’s experiences.
Halloween is about the children. Parents should not compete when it comes to purchasing the children’s costumes; it is their costume, let them pick it. The children get to choose their costumes; they should not have to choose which parent they will spend Halloween with. Parents should work together to set the children’s expectations as to who they will go trick-or treating with – one parent, both parents or no parent [because they are going with their friends].
While it is understandable that it may be impractical to share all Halloween activities or go trick-or-treating together, it is not impractical for each parent to enjoy the children in their costumes.
Remember, Halloween is not a “standard” holiday found in a Standard Possession Order, and unless otherwise agreed, it typically is not in any order. With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, parents can set the tone for their co-parenting relationship through the holidays during Halloween. Parents can mutually agree to Halloween plans that may be better than any child’s favorite candy. Parents have the opportunity to set aside the “tricks” on the other parent, and “treat” their children to a full day of Halloween fun.