Halloween For Divorced Parents
By: Brusca Law
Halloween for divorced parents can be torture when they do not get along and they have decided to split the holiday in their parenting plan or other time-sharing plan. Last year, some 179 million Americans celebrated the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation, and odds are you will be trying to celebrate Halloween this year with your children too.
Parenting Plan Provisions for the Halloween Holiday
Parenting plans are all unique, but there is generally a section within each plan that addresses the holiday time-sharing schedule. If Halloween is mentioned in your plan, you might have one or some of the common scenarios:
“Alternate Halloween Holiday Every Other Year”
“Share Halloween Holiday Each Year”
“Spend Halloween Together Each Year as a Family”
“TBD (To Be Determined by the Parents Each Year)”
How to Have A Spook-less Halloween for Divorced Parents
When you were together as a couple, there was compromise. Now, as you prepare for the upcoming Halloween Holiday, you are finding there are many issues you must navigate with your child and your former spouse or partner that do not always end happily. Here are five suggestions to help you get through the Halloween Holiday without the battle scars:
1. Prepare for Halloween Early. Many of us might typically like to wait until the week or two before Halloween because our children change their minds about their costumes, or the group of friends they will be trick-o-treating with. Last minute costume purchases can be costly and stressful for parents, and they can cause conflict unnecessarily. As much as you may not want to, you may want to consider sending an email or a text message to determine what role you might play in getting your children ready for the event. If you are not able to effectively communicate with the other parent, have another costume on hand to be ready for the big night.
2. Have a Back Up Plan. If you and your ex-spouse or partner have the “To Be Determined” provision in your parenting plan, you may find your Halloween plans might conflict with the other parent. Having a backup plan is the best way to combat this from happening year after year. Nowadays, Halloween is celebrated on more than one night each year, and especially with living in Orlando, home of Halloween Horror Nights, there is much to celebrate around Halloween. You may want to skip the holiday completely and plan to do something the weekend following Halloween night. Just remember to gauge your child’s maturity level in deciding whether to go to a haunted house or other house of horror, as children may not be emotionally ready for those events just yet.
3. Research Local Halloween Festivities. Malls, community centers, theme parks, and other non-profit groups plan for and celebrate Halloween each year. Search for events that are close to your home or work and plan to celebrate Halloween separately from the other parent, if your parenting plan allows for it. Remember, you do not have to celebrate on the night itself to have a memorable time with your child--you might just find your new Halloween tradition becomes one the family remembers for years to come.
4. Remember the Halloween Rules. Just because you and your ex-spouse or partner no longer are together, it doesn’t mean the kids reign supreme. Remind the children of the Halloween rules regardless of which parent they are celebrating with and set those expectations early on. Make a list of things that concern you (think candy, checking in, and curfew) and be sure to remind the children of these things before they go trick or treating. If the children have cell phones, you may want to coordinate with your ex to turn on their location so that both parents can monitor where they are, if they are not with you. You might also want to coordinate those rules with your ex-partner or spouse to make sure everyone is on the same page.
5. Share Pictures. So many times, you and your ex-spouse celebrate holidays separately and you miss out on pictures of the child as a result. Just because you were not there with your child, it doesn’t mean you should miss out on the memory. Ask your ex-spouse or partner if they would be willing to share the photos of the child with you and be willing to do the same. You will thank yourself in years to come.
Speak with Lauren Roderick Brusca, of Brusca Law, to learn more about what you can do to mitigate the unnecessary stress of the upcoming holiday season. At Brusca Law we believe parents should continue to enjoy the holidays with their children, regardless of which parent they are with. Although Halloween is almost upon us, we have Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. Ms. Brusca can help you understand your parenting plan, and what it means for you and your family during the holiday season. Call Ms. Brusca today at 407-501-6564 to schedule your free consultation.