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These tricks may make child custody easier at Halloween

While Halloween may not be a major holiday on everyone's calendar in Michigan, it is often an event that involves many family traditions. Choosing or making a costume, attending parties and going trick or treating are events parents often relish as much as children. For divorced parents who have not included Halloween on their child custody calendars, negotiating parenting time may be in order.

Some matters may be serious enough to require a meeting of minds with both parents. For example, parents may wish to come to an agreement about appropriate costumes and movies in order to avoid contradictory parenting. The same may be true for candy consumption if one parent is typically more lenient about such things than the other.

Family counselors remind parents that, as much as they may enjoy Halloween, it is important to keep the children foremost in their plans. It may be possible to spread some of the activities across the month instead of trying to do them all in one weekend. Of course, if both parents can attend trick-or-treat or traditional parties without arguing, the children may appreciate the shared time. On the other hand, psychologists say this may not be the time to bring along a new romantic interest or dig up old arguments.

If a child custody agreement does not include details about how holidays will be spent, it may be in the best interests of everyone for the parents to calmly negotiate a fair arrangement. However, such verbal agreements are not legally binding, and either parents can refuse to abide by them without Michigan court approval. Seeking assistance from an attorney is recommended to ensure one's parental rights are protected during the holidays.

Source: commdiginews.com, "Halloween doesn't have to be scary for divorced parents", Myra Fleischer, Oct. 19, 2017

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