Trick or Treat? Tips to Help Divorced Parents Avoid a Halloween Horror Story

Halloween—it’s when all the little ghosts, ghouls, and goblins come out at night to fill their bags with candy. There is perhaps no better treat for a parent than watching as their little one’s painted face lights up with joy at the sight of so many goodies. For divorced spouses, however, the real trick is figuring out how to coordinate the holiday with their co-parents. While the idea of working with your ex-partner may be a scream-inducing thought to you, there are a few ways that you can keep things civil to put the focus on your children.

Follow these tips for a horror-free co-parenting Halloween this year:

Plan Ahead to Keep Your Kid’s Worst Nightmare from Coming True

Does your co-parenting schedule take Halloween into account? It should. Despite what you may think of the holiday, Halloween is one of the biggest of the year for your kid. That means that you need to have a conversation with your ex-spouse to make sure that everything goes smoothly. You can alternate years or split time on the day, but to make sure that the little one is having fun, you need to keep things structured. You can each take a turn trick-or-treating or divide time between activities, like pumpkin carving or going to a haunted house. Whatever you decide, don’t just try to wing it. And don’t force any decisions on your child. You may think that by giving your kid a choice about who they want to spend the holiday with, that you’re making it all about them, but that’s a lot of pressure for someone so young. You are the adult. Don’t make them choose between parents.

Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil

Are you a Jekyll and Hyde co-parent? In other words, do you act pleasant to your co-parent’s face and then bad-mouth them as soon as they leave? If you do this while going from door to door, you are ruining the mood of the holiday for your child. If you do this at all, you are making thing really hard for your kid. When you are upset, keep your thoughts to the present moment, because nothing good can come from dragging your co-parent’s skeletons out of the closet for all to see. Just remember: you’ve probably got a bone or two hidden away, too. Refrain from making nasty comments about your co-parent behind their back, and they’ll likely return the favor.

Summon the Courage to Trick or Treat Together

Depending on your relationship with your co-parent, you may find yourself with the opportunity to go trick-or-treating together. Not only does a joint outing give everyone more time with the kids, but it also shows your child that, no matter what happens, you are both going to be there. If you can put aside your differences, you’ll be demonstrating your willingness to do just about anything for your kids, and they’ll notice. If you’re not quite ready to brave those depths, that’s okay. Just remember to plan accordingly.

Halloween can be a horror story for divorced parents, but with the right tools and strategies to help you navigate co-parenting during this holiday, you will be sure to give your kids the time of their lives. Our attorneys are experienced in all areas of family law and can help you with your situation. Call our office today to learn more about our services.