When we think of holidays for the purpose of parenting plans, custody, and timesharing, we usually think of holidays associated with days off of school (and – for parents – days off of work). Days off or school and/or work mean days parents can spend time with their child. So, working these particular holidays into a parenting plan is fundamental to a meaningful and doable plan.
Halloween, however, typically isn't a day off for anyone. So, it's often not considered. But Halloween can be one of the most enjoyable of all holidays. Dressing up. Handing out candy. Receiving candy. Laughing and scaring and generally having a good time. That's Halloween for many of us with kids. So, what do you do about it? Should it be included in a parenting plan in Florida?
The more detailed your parenting plan is, the better the plan will be for everyone involved. Details prevent room for confusion or mixed interpretations. It allows you to know exactly who and when one parent is spending time with the child. Halloween is one additional detail that can aid in the thoroughness of your parenting plan.
There are ways you can include it. Like all other holidays, you can add it to the plan on a rotating basis. One parent has the child on all even years, for example, and the other parent has the child on all odd years. You can even include who buys the costume – is it shared each year or does the parent with custody of the child on Halloween purchase it?
Another solution is dividing the day up. Many parents will split Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other special holidays because these holidays are so special to them. One parent may get the child in the morning on odd years and in the afternoons on even years, and vice versa. The same can be done with Halloween: one parent has the child for the late afternoon while the other parent has the child for the early evening – so that both parents can enjoy their child (and likewise the child can enjoy his or her parents) during trick or treating or parties for the same.
If you didn't include Halloween in your parenting plan, it's probably not an excuse to modify the plan. But a fundamental principle to any parenting plan is its need to be flexible. There will be things that come up from time to time, and parents have to work with each other to accommodate these unexpected things. And though Halloween isn't unexpected, it is something that parents can work together to ensure their child is secure and happy during this holiday.
Halloween is a fun holiday. No one wants a real monster to scare away children. So, don't bring out the monsters in each other. Work together and make sure Halloween is a safe and spooky fun experience for everyone involved. Come up with creative ways to share the experience. One parent can dress up the child and go trick or treating for the first half while the other parent finishes trick or treating with the child and takes him or her home to enjoy the goods from a special day spent with both parents. And therein is probably the best treat of the day for your child.