Navigating Joint Custody and Trick-Or-Treating

A pumpkin bucket with the words, "navigating joint custody and trick-or-treating."Halloween is a very popular holiday among children in the United States. Children wait all year to dress up as their favorite characters or monsters, go through haunted houses, and of course, go trick-or-treating. While many children embrace the holiday with excitement, parents, and children in joint custody situations may feel stress surrounding this day because they don’t know who they are going to spend it with. Here is how you can navigate joint custody to create a smooth, fun, and spooktacular Halloween for your child.

Plan Ahead So That Both Parents and the Child Know What to Expect

Unlike Thanksgiving and Christmas which is celebrated with family, Halloween is celebrated with the community. And community activities such as trick-or-treating, Halloween events, and neighborhood festivities usually only happen once. To ensure that both sides of the family can be involved with these celebrations when they happen, it is important to come up with a game plan ahead of time. Here are some suggestions:

Alternating Events

One of the greatest things about Halloween is that, typically, most of the community events happen before the actual holiday. This is because the actual holiday is reserved for the main attraction of trick-or-treating. Some of these community events include haunted houses, Trunk-Or-Treats, and Halloween parties. While you and the other parent may not be able to go to all of the events, you can split up which ones you would like to take your child to, allowing both parties to feel the thrill of the holiday and create lasting memories with your child. If you took your child to the Halloween party the previous year but missed trick-or-treating, you can switch this time with the other parent. This allows your child to create fond memories with both sets of parents and not feel like one is missing out.

Be sure to discuss your plans with your child so that they know who is taking them to which event. Make sure to build up the excitement as this can help ease the transition and allow the child to look forward to the quality time he or she will get to spend with each of you.

Decorate and Pick Out a Costume With Your Child

Halloween is full of creative, creepy and fun costumes and decorations. If you and the other parent want to decorate your houses, make sure to include your child. Take separate trips to the pumpkin patch, allow your child to do different carvings for each house, and choose out a costume together for trick-or-treating or for planned events. This way, the child is building a solid relationship and fond memories/traditions with each parent, allowing him or her to look forward to this holiday every year.

Put Your Child’s Needs First

While these tips can help your child make the most out of the haunting season, remember that every child is different. Some children do better having separate events with each parent and some need to have the interaction of both during these holidays. If your child wants to have both parents there and you are okay being around your ex-spouse, make plans to do so. Your child’s mental and emotional well-being are extremely important and need to be the priority in all decision making. If you cannot be around your ex-spouse, take this into account and continue to have separate events.

Also, remember to keep all plans in writing and keep the doors of communication open between your child, the other parent, and yourself. By doing so, you can ensure that your family will have a boo-tiful Halloween full of laughs, scares, and wonderful memories that will last you and your child a lifetime.

Do you need help with a child custody dispute or are going through a divorce? Alison Grant, Attorney at Law can help. She has been providing unparalleled family law service since 1998 to the hardworking individuals of Lewisville, Texas. With dedication, compassion, and knowledge, she will keep you informed throughout the process of your case and help explain what is happening so that you can understand what to expect. Contact Alison Grant today for more information on her services or to schedule a consultation.

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