Child Custody on Halloween

Posted by Josh Valentine | Sep 24, 2019

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. 

Alternating Years 

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.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar