When most couples are negotiating child custody and visitation schedules, they focus on family-oriented holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, other holidays can be just as important for children and Halloween is a favorite holiday of many kids.
Kids (and some adults) get excited about the one day where they can dress up as a vampire, witch, or superhero and go door-to-door getting candy. As October 31st approaches, child custody on Halloween can be a source of tension.
Planning Ahead for Holidays
Most child custody issues can be ironed out by discussing them ahead of time and being flexible. This year, October 31st falls on a Thursday and is still a school day for most kids. Generally, the standard child visitation schedule would remain in effect but parents may have other options where both parents get to spend some time with their kids in costume.
Trick or Treating Together
Parents who are on good terms may decide to come together for a couple of hours to take their kids around the neighborhood. This can be the simplest solution and requires no changes to the child's schedule. However, this is not always possible or ideal.
Two Neighborhood Trick or Treating
Trick or treating often begins before it gets dark and continues as long as candy holds out. If the parents live near each other, there is likely plenty of time to split the evening. One parent can take the child trick or treating in the early evening and return for the other parent to finish the night going door-to-door before it is time for bed.
Weekend Halloween Events
Halloween itself is on a weekday this year but there may be other family-friendly events on the weekends leading up to Halloween. This could be a trick-or-treating event at a mall, parade, or fair. Weekend events will not only allow the kids to dress up twice (and get twice as much candy), but they will also allow children to spend Halloween time with each parent.
The last weekend of the North Carolina State Fair falls on the weekend before Halloween, which can provide plenty of fun and entertainment for parents wanting to spend time with the kids.
Trunk-or-treat events may take place on Halloween or the weekend prior. These are often hosted by churches, schools, or communities as a safer alternative to kids walking around neighborhoods after dark.
Another alternative for parents is specifying every other year as a day the child spends with the parent for Halloween. Even if parents do not alternate every year, Halloween may fall on a Saturday or Sunday (like next year, Saturday, October 31, 2020). As a weekend day, Halloween may naturally fall on a day that is within the other parent's custody schedule.
Holiday Custody and Visitation in North Carolina
Halloween is another holiday that can be important for kids and parents and both should be able to enjoy the time together. If Halloween is presenting an issue in your child custody agreement or the other parent is not following the parenting plan, it may be time to contact your family law attorneys. At Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped parents negotiate child custody agreements that work for them and provide for the child. Contact us today for a consultation.