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Trick or Treat? Spending Halloween with Your Kids after Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on October 17, 2012

It’s that time of year again. October has arrived, and with it is the start of the fall and winter holidays. Halloween kicks off the season, but this isn’t necessarily good news for recently divorced families. Family law attorney Leslie Fineberg and the legal team at Nottage and Ward recognize that the fall and winter holidays are typically the most difficult time of year for divorced families, which is why we have dedicated this three-part “Trick or Treat?” blog series to helping divorcing and already divorced families get through Halloween.

The concept of trick or treat is simple. Children and teenagers, and sometimes even adults, dress up in costumes and knock on someone’s door and are given a choice: trick or treat? This basically threatens the homeowner with a “trick” (usually some form of mischief on their property), if they don’t give them a “treat.” While no kids really “trick,” the concept of trick or treat can be applied to divorce. Making a threat to one spouse so that the other can get something they want is common, especially when it comes to child custody agreements, for which the holidays can become a big issue.

Planning to Divorce, Currently Divorcing

If you are planning on getting a divorce or are currently in the divorce process, you cannot ignore the holidays when it comes to your child custody agreement. Many parents forget about the holidays or feel that it isn’t a contentious enough subject to actually arrange in a contract, but this can often have unfavorable consequences. There is no reason why one parent would honor a verbal agreement if they change their mind about it.

If you want to spend Halloween with your kids after you and your spouse divorce, it should be included in your child custody agreement. That way, you can enforce it if your ex decides to be uncooperative when Halloween comes around.

Already Divorced

If you are already divorced and you did not establish arrangements for Halloween in your child custody or visitation agreement, then you will have to do the best you can to come to a compromise with your ex for the sake of your child or children.

Check back next time for the second blog post in our “Trick or Treat?” blog series where we will be discussing how you can work with your ex to create a Halloween that works out for the whole family.

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