Does Your Custody Arrangement / Parenting Plan Include Trick or Treating with Your Child on Halloween?


In mediating your divorce, one of the holidays that should be considered and specifically addressed in your parenting plan is Halloween. Halloween can be very important in a child’s life. It is a time for dressing up, candy, parties, and spending time with family and friends. While it may be all fun for the child, it can be a nightmare for the parents if it is not dealt with in advance.

Halloween is a holiday that falls on the same date each year but falls on a different day of the week each year. So what does this mean? It means that for divorcing parents, it should be raised and discussed and included in any parenting plan that is established. Why? Because if it is not specifically addressed, then one parent may be excluded from sharing this day with their child. A parenting plan may state that one parent has the child on Monday and Thursday and every other weekend. But what happens if Halloween falls on Tuesday? Can that parent still trick or treat with the child? This will depend on the nature of the arrangement between the parents; whether they can come to agreement, whether they are willing to share the day; etc. If dealt with in advance and written into your parenting plan, this will be a non-issue.

Some of the things that should be considered when negotiating a Halloween schedule, include, among others: 

·     will both parents be able to see the child on Halloween;

·     will the parents trick or treat together or split the day;

·     will you need to alter the drop off / pick up time;

·     will you need to alter the drop off / pick up location;

·     will one parent have the child on Halloween one year and the other parent the following year.

The more detailed the schedule is, the less likely that this day of fun will turn into a scary day of stress for the parents and/or the child.

Mediation is a place where the parties can create a schedule that works for their specific family and situation.

For more information on divorce mediation, what the mediation process entails, how to move forward with mediation or if mediation is the right process for you and your spouse, contact Sheree Donath by