Know Your Visitation Schedule
Whether this is your first Halloween after separation or you’ve been divorced for several years, sharing holidays can be a challenge. However, refamiliarizing yourself with your visitation schedule can help you avoid schedule conflicts and other issues. It can also help you manage your expectations for the holiday, including giving you a chance to come up with fun new traditions to share with your children.
Reviewing your parenting plan should involve more than checking to see who the child is with on Halloween. You should also review any related provisions or rules that may impact your holiday planning. Below we’ve provided a short checklist to help you through this process.
Parenting plan holiday checklist:
- Which parent is the child with on the actual holiday?
- Is the holiday split between both parents?
- Who has the child for the weekend before and/or after the holiday?
- Are there any provisions regarding what to do if the holiday falls mid-week?
- Are there any provisions regarding where parents may or may not take the children for the holiday?
- Are there any provisions regarding how much notice a parent must be given regarding requests for schedule changes?
- Are there any other special provisions that may affect the holiday?
Keep reading for three tips on Halloween planning after divorce.
Tip #1: Keep Communication Open
If you are making plans for Halloween, it is a good idea to keep your co-parent apprised of what you have going on (when appropriate). This can help them with their planning and ensure that there are no overlapping plans or other schedule conflicts. It is also worth discussing the logistics of the holiday with your co-parent as well.
Things to potentially discuss with your co-parent include:
- Who is taking the child to purchase their Halloween costume?
- Is one parent planning on making the child’s Halloween costume?
- Are there any school events or activities that require parental involvement, and if so, which parent will be responsible for what?
Tip #2: Plan Ahead
When making Halloween plans, the sooner you start organizing, the better. Planning ahead can be particularly helpful if you think your plans will necessitate a visitation schedule change or a need to swap days with your co-parent. For example, if you want to take your child to a Halloween party or fall festival, and the date lands of a day they are typically with their other parent, you will want to request the change well enough in advance that your co-parent has time to both consider the request and adjust their own schedule to accommodate you, if possible.
Tip #3: Try to Be as Flexible as Possible
After a divorce, communication, and cooperation may be challenging. However, if you and your former spouse share children, you will likely need to compromise at some point. When going into Halloween planning, it is good to go in with an open mind, a positive attitude, and a willingness to work with your co-parent. We appreciate that this is much easier said than done.
Things you can do to be as flexible as possible when planning for Halloween:
- Have backup plans if your initial plans do not work out
- Have a few dates in mind when planning for events that aren’t tied solely to Halloween, such as taking your kids to the pumpkin patch, going to a Halloween show, etc.
- Consider what your top priorities are, and communicate those to your co-parent
Reach Out to an Attorney if Necessary
At the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., we know how challenging it can be to navigate holidays like Halloween during or after a divorce. We also appreciate that not all co-parents have amicable relationships that allow for open communication and flexibility. If you are in a situation where you have a combative co-parent who is not honoring your parenting plan or custody agreement, you are not alone.
In these cases, it may be in your best interest to reach out to an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand the conditions of your custody agreement and guide you in understanding your legal options.
Call our law firm at (719) 212-4227 or send us a message online to schedule a consultation with us. We are here for you.