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Ryan Kirkham Shares The Secret Weapon for Divorced Parents

By Ryan Kirkham

Prior to the now-ubiquitous “smartphone,” one of the first purchases many people made during the new calendar year was an actual calendar. My favorites growing up were Gary Larson’s The Far Side cartoon calendars.

To the divorced or divorcing parent, they may find themselves living in a surrealist, Far Side-like existence created by the standard possession order (SPO), which sets the schedule for each parent’s time with their children. Any parent familiar with SPOs knows the school year possession rotation to be the first, third and fifth weekends of a month. That bit is simple enough … only when it isn’t. Allow me to explain.

Every new year tends to come with nuances that may knock that familiar “first, third and fifth” possession schedule cadence out of sync. Here’s an example that many local parents may have encountered during the recent Christmas school break. Most Dallas-area districts didn’t resume classes until the first full week of January. That meant that the first weekend of possession would fall during the winter break. Adding to the confusion, there was no fifth weekend in the month. As a result, many parents were surprised to find they’d only get one weekend of possession to start 2019. So much for the reliable “first, third and fifth” rhythm.

The secret weapon to understanding the ins-and-outs of the possession schedule for the year ahead is nothing more complicated than a basic calendar.

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