Child Visitation Rights Lawyer – Woodlands. TX

The Texas Family Code provides that the child should have regular and frequent contact with both parents. The Code provides that the parents may have possession of the child at times mutually agreed to by the parties. However, many parents are not able to consistently agree.

When the parents cannot agree on shared times, a Standard Possession Order (SPO) is presumed to be in the best interest of any child age three or older. The parent having the right to determine the primary residence of the child is the custodial parent (CP). The SPO spells out the periods of possession for the non-custodial parent (NCP), depending on whether the NCP lives within or more than 100 miles of the child.

Weekends – On weekends throughout the year, the NCP has the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the first, third, and fifth Friday of each month and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday. It is important to note that this refers to the first, third, and fifth Friday, not the first, third, and fifth weekend.

If the Friday before or the Monday after a weekend is a school or government holiday, the weekend period begins at 6p.m. on Thursday or ends at 6p.m. on Monday.

If the NCP lives more than 100 miles from the child, the NCP can either have the periods noted above OR can choose one weekend per month, provided he or she gives notice to the CP.

Thursdays – Between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during the regular school year, if NCP lives within 100 miles of the child.

Spring Break – The NCP has possession in odd-numbered years if the NCP lives within 100 miles. If the NCP lives more than 100 miles, the NCP has possession every year. Possession begins at 6:00 p.m. on the last day of school before the break and ends at 6:00 p.m. the day before school starts again.

Summer – If the NCP lives within 100 miles, the NCP will have the child for 30 days in no more than two periods of at least seven days each. If the NCP does not provide notice to the CP by April 1, then the NCP will have the child from July 1-30 that year. If the NCP lives more than 100 miles from the child, the NCP gets 42 days (June 15 to July 27 if no notice is given to the CP). During NCP’s time and with notice, CP can take one weekend (two non-consecutive weekends for NCPs more than 100 miles away) but must pick up and return the child wherever the child is. The CP can also cancel one of the NCP’s weekends during summer, with the exception of Father’s Day, assuming the NCP is the father. The CP cannot choose a weekend during the NCP’s extended summer visit.

Christmas – The NCP has the child in odd-numbered years beginning at 6:00 p.m. the last day of school before Christmas break through noon on December 28. The NCP has the child in even-numbered years beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6p.m. on the day before school resumes.

Thanksgiving – The NCP has the child in even-numbered years from 6:00 p.m. on the last day of school before the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

Mother’s and Father’s Day – The child is with the parent on that weekend from 6:00 p.m. the Friday prior to 6:00 p.m. on Mother’s and Father’s Day.

Child’s Birthday – The parent who does not have possession of the child on the child’s birthday has the child and the child’s siblings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the child’s birthday.

Expanded SPO: The NCP may elect to have an expanded SPO under the Texas Family Code, section 153.317. With an expanded SPO, the possession time begins when school is dismissed and ends when school resumes for the weekend and Thursday periods. For spring break, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Father’s and Mother’s Day, the period of possession begins at the time the child’s school is dismissed for the weekend or break instead of 6:00 p.m. of that day.