Halloween Tips in Child Custody Cases
Here are some easy tips to keep Halloween frightfully fun, even as a Co-Parent or Caring Relative, and make sure the only drama today or this weekend comes from Freeform’s Hocus Pocus marathon rather than the Other Side.
1. Halloween is on your day, whenever that is.
Your child is not going to object to having as many Halloweens as it takes so each parent can share in the Trick-or-Treating fun. (Doesn’t mean you don’t have to monitor the candy intake). Churches schedule fun fests on Sunday evenings. Parents move trick-or-treating to Fridays or Saturdays to avoid school nights. There’s no reason you are your little goblin can’t Trick or Treat whenever your Child Custody permits. Unless you’re a Co-Parenting rock star, avoid attempting to move things around. We touch on this subject a lot and “well, it’s Halloween though” is not a good excuse to deviate from the Custody schedule.
Since Halloween is one of our favorite holidays at Foxtrot Family Law, a lot of the schedules that come out of our cases, whether through Agreements or Orders, include provisions for Halloween. It’s like the St. Patrick’s Day of kids’ holidays, c’mon!
2. Trick or Treat on location for convenience and safety…
How much would it mean for the residents of a local retirement home to see your little bumble bee or princess tramp through? (Just avoid a grim reaper costume, eh?) We’ve already mentioned fun fests at local churches; these are great outreach events for these organizations and there’s no need to be a member. Heck, go down the checkout lines at a Publix and see if you don’t come out of there with a couple of Snickers or Milky Ways (full size!) from folks adding them to their purchase, ha! (The more polite idea, we acknowledge is for us to purchase the candy ourselves, plant kiddo at the end of the line and hand candy to folks entering the line as to not guilt trip them. But we defer to your discretion.)
All these options are typically indoors so they’re immune from weather considerations, and…
this can avoid the nit-picky even if well-intentioned safety discussions with and interrogations from the Other Side.
3. Have a separate costume (in reserve, at least)…
In more contentious cases, sharing specialty clothing, like uniforms, equipment or Halloween costumes, can become an issue. We all know not everything that goes to the Other Side’s place makes it back. And, we know just dealing with the Other Side on anything can turn into an argument we’d rather avoid.
Thus, assume you’ll need to provide your own costume for your child and any obstruction to sharing is no big deal, e.g.,
“Can you send over [JANE]’s costume with her this weekend?”
— “We’ve already trick or treated / I handmade that costume / I won’t give you the satisfaction of cooperating with you on any level.”
“Okay, just thought I’d check. See you Friday. (click).”
Of course it should be up to your child what he or she wears, within reason, even if that does mean at least reaching out to the Other Side, as above. But, resist the urge to treat it like some issue in your case. You are just gathering information you need to be effective. It’s not good or bad.
4. Share pictures with the Other Side, regardless, and not just on social media…
We know we have a more adversarial take on the world Child Custody. The quest for the moral “high ground” doesn’t really exist and it’s more often a tool for manipulation by the Other Side than anything. But, this is a freebie…
We don’t recommend allowing the Other Side access to your social media. But, if you’ve got some great pictures you know or think the Other Side will or should enjoy then don’t hesitate to share them.
Do make sure you’re hearts in the right place, though. If it’s “hey, look how much fun we’re having without you,” then avoid it. If you are sharing these fun moments for the right reasons, don’t give a moment’s worry to whether the Other Side might take it as a slight. You’ve got enough problems without being the Other Side’s emotional babysitter.
Hope these are helpful. Hope you have a safe, fun and Happy Halloween from Foxtrot Family Law!
This article contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice for you and or your unique situation. If you would like to speak more about how you, as a Committed Parent or Caring Relative, can be more effective in your Child Custody case, please visit www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/public_calendars/ to schedule your initial consultation at one of our offices. ~SW, Foxtrot