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Trick or Treat? How to Be Fair to Your Kids and Your Ex

By Nottage and Ward on October 18, 2012

In the first post of our “Trick or Treat?” blog series, Nottage and Ward LLP discussed the issues surrounding spending Halloween with your kids after divorce. We will continue that discussion in this blog, specifically providing some tips and potential solutions for how you and your family can have an enjoyable Halloween even if you didn’t previously come to an agreement in the terms of your child custody arrangement.

No one wants to have a heated argument with their ex about who gets to spend time with the kids on Halloween, or any other holiday for that matter. When both of you want to take your children trick-or-treating or both of you want to see your kids on Halloween, it can easily become a battle of all or nothing, which never turns out well and your kids may end up suffering. To show your children that both their parents are an important part of their lives and both want to make the holidays special for them, you may want to consider the following tips and options for Halloween:

  • Don’t be a stickler for tradition. If your kids always spent Halloween at your brother’s house while you were married, that doesn’t mean they have to do the same after you divorce. Make new traditions that are fun for your kids and fair to their other parent.
  • Split Halloween up into two events, on the same day or on different days. Maybe have your children stay with you the night before Halloween to carve pumpkins, shop for costumes, decorate the house, and/or bake Halloween cookies, and then actually go trick-or-treating with their other parent.
  • Don’t be afraid to get your children’s opinion about Halloween activities; they may have a plan all set for you already.
  • If you maintain a civil enough of a relationship with your ex, why not take your kids trick-or-treating together? There is no law that says you can’t spend time with your kids together, and that is actually one of the best ways you can show your children that you are both still committed to them.

Every family situation is different and so the above may or may not work for you, but they are ideas worth considering, even if your family has a step-mom or step-dad. When there are step-families involved, things can be a little more complicated, however.

Visit our blog again next time for the final installment of our “Trick or Treat?” blog series, where our child custody attorneys will discuss how to be a part of your step-kids’ Halloween celebration without jeopardizing their relationship with their other parent.

If you missed the first installment of our “Trick or Treat?” series, you may read it here.

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