It is not uncommon for divorcing parents to have difficulty establishing (or maintaining) a parenting schedule. This issue often rears its ugly head when children’s events draw near. With Halloween coming next Thursday, some of our readers may be experiencing difficulty with deciding where their child will go Trick-or-Treating. In some instances, parents may debate whether the child should take part in the annual event at all.
With disputes over time, there are ways to reach an accord where each parent’s interests are satisfied. Perhaps the child could spend time in both parents’ neighborhoods, especially if they do not live too far away from each other. A child could find themselves feeling very lucky at the prospect of getting twice the amount of candy.
Alternatively, the child could have a Halloween party with one parent (which ostensibly would take place on a different day), and go Trick-or-Treating with the other parent on October 31. The parents could even agree that on alternating years, the scenario would be reversed.
Disputes based on religious beliefs can be much more difficult to resolve. Not only is it difficult (with regard to time) to have a motion heard before a judge in anticipation of Halloween next week, the court must balance a parent’s First Amendment right to religious freedom against the best interests of the child, and this could result in an outcome that would only deepen the divide between parents.
Because of this, it is important when constructing a parenting time agreement to consider the possibility that a child may participate in events that may offend a parent’s religious convictions, and discuss what should be done about them.
Source: FindLaw.com, Divorce, Child Custody and Religion