Visitation Schedule in Texas – The Standard Possession Order
Here in Texas we have unusual terminology for visitation. We call it "access to or possession of" the child. Similarly, we don't have "custody." Instead, we call it "conservatorship" which can be either joint or sole. So while this website is about visitation, we will sometimes call it "possession" for short.
The Standard Possession Order is a detailed statute that sets forth who has the kids when if the parents do not otherwise agree. You can read the text of the Standard Possession Order here. As you can see, the text is long and full of legalese.
For detailed information on the Texas Standard Possession Order, visit About the Standard Possession Order. This website will give you the main points.
Normally the child lives primarily with one parent. Absent agreement otherwise, The other parent has "possession" of the child at these times:
• Every Thursday night during the regular school term (pickup can be after school or at 6:00 p.m. Return can be at 8:00 p.m. or the next morning.)
• The first, third and (if there is one) fifth weekend of each month (pickup can be after school Friday or at 6:00 p.m. Return can be at 8:00 p.m. Sunday or on Monday morning.). If there is a Thursday or Monday school holiday or teacher in–service day, the weekend expands to include that day.
• If the parent with whom the child lives has the child on the child's birthday, the noncustodial parent has possession of the child from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the child's birthday.
Holiday visitation supersedes regular visitation. These are the holiday rules:
• The parents alternate Thanksgiving. The noncustodial parent has possession of the child for Thanksgiving in odd–numbered years.
• Christmas visitation is divided into two halves: The first half is the date school ends for the holiday until noon on December 28. The second half is from noon on December 28 until school resumes. The noncustodial parent has the child for the first half in even–numbered years and the second half in odd– numbered years.
• The parents alternate Spring Break. The noncustodial parent gets even–numbered years.
Weekend visitation continues during the summer, subject to the summer rules:
• By default, the noncustodial parent has the child for the month of July.
• Depending on notice being given in April, visitation can be other than the month of July.
• The custodial parent gets one weekend during the noncustodial parent's summer visitation.
As you can see, the Standard Possession Order can get very complicated very quickly. Visit the Standard Possession Order website for more information – and to download a custom visitation calendar on to your desktop or mobile device.
A final note: A parent is entitled to visitation even if he or she is behind on child support.
Check out the Grandparent Rights Reporter.