According to the Texas Family Code, the standard possession order provides for weekend periods of possession and access, as well as holidays and summer periods.
It’s important to keep in mind that a court is not required to grant a standard possession schedule. Judges are given the authority to order any possession schedule that they believe is in the best interest of the child, even though the standard possession schedule is the only schedule written in the family code.
The standard possession order provides:
- Possession and access on Thursdays during the school term
- Possession and access time during a child’s birthday
- Designated starting and ending times for each particular period
- Modified weekend, spring break and summertime periods of possession and access for parties who live more than 100 miles from each other
Less Than 100 Miles
For parents who reside within 100 miles from each other, the standard possession order provides that the conservator without the right to designate the primary residence of the child is entitled to possession and access to the child on the first, third and fifth weekend of every month, plus every Thursday during the regular school term.
More Than 100 Miles
In a situation where the conservators reside more than 100 miles apart from one another, the standard possession order allows the visiting parent to choose between exercising the first, third and fifth weekend, or rather electing one weekend per month at that conservators’ discretion.
The 100-mile distinction is also important with regard to summer periods of possession and access, in that for conservators who reside within 100 miles of each other, the visiting parent is entitled to 30 days in the summer, while for those conservators who reside more than 100 miles from each other, the summer period of possession extends to 42 days, regardless of which weekend period of visitation is chosen.
One last distinction that is made between conservators who reside within 100 miles of each other and those who reside more than 100 miles of each other, is that for over 100 mile access, the visiting parent is entitled to the spring break period of visitation every year, whereas it would alternate years if the conservators lived within 100 miles of each other. Aside from those mentioned above, all other periods of possession and access between conservators who reside less than or more than 100 miles apart from one another would stay the same.
While the Texas standard possession order provides for specific terms of possession and access, an important facet to understand is that the standard possession order sets a default period of possession. However, as the need arises, the parties may agree to different periods of possession to meet their individual needs. If a disagreement comes up later, the parties can always fall back on the visitation schedule written in their order.
Board Certified in Family Law
At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, our attorneys understand what time with your children means. We will work hard to help you reach your goals of visitation so you can be there for your child. All of our partner attorneys are certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law, something that can mean a big difference for your custody case.