For many families, Halloween is more than a day, it’s a tradition. It’s a time where children and adults alike are excited to dress up, eat too much candy, and join in the community festivities. This can be difficult for families that are co-parenting. Some parents are legally bound to adhere to a court-ordered custody schedule. Without proper planning and communication families could miss out on making Halloween memories.
When children are small, Halloween is a holiday that the court may alternate every other year. What does this mean? Each year, one parent will miss the Halloween festivities with the child. Co-parenting is a little different. Co-parenting means that you work together for the best interests of your child. Halloween is no exception. Below are some suggestions for co-parents about Halloween:
This is great if both parents are amicable. Agree to take the child trick-or-treating together in one parent’s neighborhood. Preferably the neighborhood with the best candy.
Trick-or-treat in shifts
One parent gets the child ready and spends the first half of the evening trick-or-treating. The other parent agrees to meet up along the way and finish the night – Or takes the child to their neighborhood to trick-or-treat for the rest of the night. Remember in most Coastal Virginia communities trick-or-treating lasts from 6 to 8 PM. So if the parents’ neighborhoods are far apart it is best to plan accordingly. The first parent enjoys the process of getting ready, taking pictures, and going out. The last parent enjoys taking candy inventory with the child at the end of the night.
Be flexible with Halloween activities
There are several activities at local schools and churches for families to enjoy. For some sharing Halloween night is not an option. In that case, allow the parent who does not have the child on Halloween to take the child to an activity on a different night.
Create Halloween traditions at both homes
This is a great time to get creative. Allow the child to carve pumpkins and decorate for Halloween at both homes. The child will enjoy double the fun!
Halloween is a day filled with fun and candy! Just because a child has two homes does not mean that one parent should be completely excluded each year from celebrating Halloween. Remember, the goal of co-parenting is to create the best situation for the child.