Halloween: What Divorcing Parents Need to Consider

October 9, 2023

By: Carla Schiff Donnelly

Halloween has always been a special holiday for children, and parents enjoy reliving it through their eyes. However, divorce can put a damper on things if the parents do not plan ahead and work together. Here are some tips to help things go more smoothly:

Decide who is doing what for the costumes.

It is no fun for kids if their parents are too busy fighting over who is doing what when it comes to the costumes. Take your ego out of it. If the other parent really wants to take the lead on the costume let them and agree you will take the lead next year. Or, if you have more than one child, you each are in charge of one of them.

Determine if you are both going to trick or treat together.

The determinative question is whether both of you can get along and make it a positive experience for your child. That usually means being willing to leave your new significant other out of the picture. Remember, the focus is on your child and not to make your ex jealous or upset. If you cannot make it a positive experience, it may be better to alternate years.

Determine where you are trick or treating.

If you are both still living at home, this one is easy. If you are now living in separate homes and both neighborhoods trick or treat at the same time, you have to select a location. Think of this from the child’s perspective. Do they have friends in the new neighborhood and feel excited about it? Would they rather spend their first Halloween where it is familiar?

Remember that divorce is an opportunity to create new traditions.

If you do not have your children on Halloween, you can still create new traditions around the holiday and the fall season. Pumpkin picking and carving, baking and decorating spooky treats or decorating the house are all fun activities that do not have to take place on the holiday but help capture the magic.

When it comes to Halloween or any other holiday, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of planning ahead and making a plan. The more you plan and coordinate, the less stressful it will be on your children.

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