Summer is over and school has started. As the leaves begin to fall, the evidence is clear. The holiday season is right around the corner. Many post-divorce families struggle with major holidays, having to juggle custody arrangements, making sure the kids get to visit the requisite family members for an ‘appropriate’ amount of time, and trying to maintain traditions in a changing situation. A relatively minor holiday to most families, this Halloween may be the perfect opportunity to try something a bit different and get this year’s holiday season off to cooperative and enjoyable start.
Nobody has to convince the kids to get excited about Halloween. Young girls start deciding in September whether to dress as Elsa or Anna from Frozen. Boys consider which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle will be the most fun. Meanwhile, mom and dad are left to figure out who the kids are supposed to be with this year, which parent lives in the safest neighborhood for trick-or-treating, and which parent may miss out on the kids’ fun night. One’About.com single parent expert‘suggests that Halloween could be a prime opportunity for ex-spouses to both get involved and offers several reasons to do so.
With lots of moving around and things to do on Halloween, there is not a lot of time to try and fill with idle small talk, which can get uncomfortable for divorced parents. Family meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas can present the challenge of dealing with extended family which Halloween tends to avoid.
Both Mom and Dad Get to Be Involved
No holiday is more about the kids than Halloween. They will be delighted to show off their costume and, of course, the hard-earned results of their trick-or-treating. For families with more than one child, simply having an extra adult present can make the night much easier as well.
Low Risk, High Reward Example
The nature of the holiday allows for fairly easy practice getting along together. Halloween is relatively low key, and if it does not go particularly well, it is only a couple hours once a year, rather than a day long commitment. If it does go well, it also opens the door for future events together, and shows the kids that being a family, albeit in a different way, is still possible with a little effort.
Of course, the first few times working together may be difficult for ex-spouses. It is worth it, Wolf points out, if something as simple as cooperating on Halloween can make the children a little happier. Divorced parents can easily forget that their children may only be interested in Halloween for a handful of years. She encourages parents to seize the opportunity and create memories the whole family can cherish.
If you live in Illinois and need help with a custody arrangement, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Whether establishing an order for the first time or amending an existing order, we can help you understand the law and make the best decisions for you and your children.