Fall is definitely in the air here in Raleigh, North Carolina, and by now you have probably seen Halloween decorations up in people's yards and in stores and restaurants. Halloween seems to be more popular than ever these days, with pop-up Halloween-theme stores opening in abandoned retail locations in as early as August and closing shortly after October 31st. Halloween is a fun holiday that allows children—and adults—to dress up in costumes and attend parties.
But if you are divorced and share child custody with your ex-spouse, Halloween might be a frightful time because the two of you cannot agree on who will take the children trick-or-treating. Here are a few ideas to make Halloween not so scary when it comes to child custody.
Halloween Tips for Sharing Custody
When you came to a child custody agreement with your ex, you most likely worked out a schedule of which parent would have the children over the major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. You may have also worked out a schedule for other minor holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween, and any other three-day weekends.
This year, October 31st falls on a Thursday, which is a school night for most North Carolina school districts, meaning that your regular child visitation schedule would probably remain the same. But there are ways you both can share in the activities of not only Halloween itself, but in the days and weeks leading up to it.
Share the Night Each parent could take the children trick-or-treating in their individual neighborhoods in two different shifts. Or, if at all possible, you could each put aside your differences and spend a few hours together to take the children trick-or-treating in one neighborhood.
Other Halloween/Fall Events In the weeks and days leading up to Halloween, there are bound to be lots of parties or other activities you can take the children to. If you only have custody of the children on the weekend, check to see if there is a pumpkin patch or fall fair you could attend. Many churches also host “trunk-or-treat” events in their parking lots where church members go all out in decorating their car's trunks in Halloween themes and hand out candy.
Alternate Years If it's not possible to share Halloween night with your ex-spouse, you could agree to each take turns in alternating years to take the children trick-or-treating. If this is not your year to have the children on Halloween, investigate other options as mentioned above.
Adult Parties Finally, this is a reminder for the adults who are participating in Halloween. If you are attending an adult Halloween party where there will be alcohol, be mindful of how you behave. Have fun, but do not post pictures of yourself engaging in damaging behavior on social media that your spouse could turn around and use against you. If you plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver so you don't risk getting a DUI that could threaten your child custody status.
Trusted North Carolina Child Custody Attorney
Halloween doesn't have to be scary for spouses who share custody of their children. Contact Jerkins Family Law today if you need help working out an arrangement with your ex so that you both can enjoy Halloween with your children. Family Law attorney Jay Jerkins has the experience and insight necessary for an outcome that will make everyone happy.