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Parents with joint custody need to create a plan for Halloween

It's that time of year again: pumpkins are being carved and the preparations for this year's Halloween costume are almost all set to go. However, for parents who have joint child custody, now is also a good time to communicate and work out some kind of a schedule when it comes to trick-or-treating and school Halloween festivities.

When looking at trick-or-treating, sadly most joint child custody decrees do not specify arrangements for Halloween. This means that both parents need to work among themselves to create some sort of a plan. The first step should be talking with the children to see what it is they want to do. Are there specific neighborhoods or friends they want to go with? This information can end up being used as a basis for both parents to work out a plan.

Of course there is also always the possibility that both parents will still go out with the children as they travel from door-to-door, either together or separately. However, if going together, remember this is a time to create memories with your child, and not a time to bring along new boyfriends or girlfriends, or bring up unresolved issues.

And, aside from both parents communicating about a trick-or-treating schedule, it's also important that around this time of year both parents are very clear with each other when it comes to school functions and Halloween parties. This means making sure that both parents know exactly what is going on at the school; and what children may be expected to bring. Not talking about these things ahead of time could end up with children feeling embarrassed when they show up empty-handed.

To this tip, the best advice would be to communicate, and communicate often. Whether it's over the phone, forwarding on school emails or even face-to-face, making sure that everything is in order will only help a child feel more comfortable with the divorce and having two separate houses.

Source: Huffington Post, "Halloween: New Rules in Co-Parenting," Richard "RJ" Jaramillo, Oct. 26, 2011

1 Comment

Halloween is not a holiday. I am step mom and have taken better care of my step son than his mom. I expect his to love her and would never want to hurt that bond. He sees her 3 week ends a month and returns to us hating me. I refuse to have her over here to be apart of anything like Halloween. She feels it's a holiday and she should get him. She is sadly mistaken and this isn't going to happen.

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