Divorce decrees are loaded with important dates and I am constantly amazed by how many people are unaware of those dates. This post concerns standard Texas divorce decrees as they relate to children. When I say standard, I mean standard visitation provisions, etc… Always check your decree against the post to confirm your dates. Understand that each Texas divorce decree can be different in many ways, but the good bulk of them are “standard” or close thereto.
Registered sex offender – if you intend to live with for thirty days, marry or intend to marry a registered sex offender (or someone charged with that offense), you must notify the opposing conservator (or parent) of that information as soon as possible, but no later than the fortieth day after the date you begin to reside with the person or on the tenth day after the date the marriage occurs. Failure to provide this notice can result in a Class C Misdemeanor. This is pretty self explanatory.
Extended Summer Possession – if you are the noncustodial parent in a Texas divorce decree (i.e. you have visitation and the other parent has custody), and you want to designate your extended summer possession time, you must provide the notice by April 1st of the given year. You can read more about summer possession in my post http://chrislawyerblog.com/2010/03/texas-standard-possession-order-de-mystified-summer-possession/ The time designated (30 days or 42 days depending upon your distance from the child) must be no earlier than the day after school is dismissed for summer and no later than seven days before school resumes. If you do not get notice in by this date for the extended summer possession, then you automatically get July 1 to July 31st (or June 15 to July 27 if you are over 100-miles).
- If you are the custodial parent in the Texas divorce decree (i.e. the other parent is picking their thirty day summer visitation) if you want to have one weekend inside the thirty day period of summer possession that the other parent designated per the above requirements, you must give your notice by April 15 of the current year. Even if the other parent does not designate a time, and therefore gets July 1 to July 31st, you still must give notice by April 15 if you want a weekend in July.
- If you are the custodial parent in the Texas decree and want a weekend during the summer outside of the other parents thirty day summer possession, you must give the other parent notice by April 15 of a year or fourteen days written notice on or after April 16, you can designate one weekend that would otherwise have been the other parents. This is your extended summer possession time. For a discussion of weekend possessions in the summer you can visit my post at http://chrislawyerblog.com/2010/03/texas-standard-possession-order-de-mystified-weekend-possessions/. If you are in the over 100-mile provisions of a standard visitation order, you will get to select twenty-one days.
If you are the parent with visitation and you move more than 100-miles from the child, instead of the 1st 3rd and 5th weekend visitation, you can elect to have one weekend per month. If you make this election, you must give written notice to the other parent within 90 days after you begin to reside more than 100-miles from the child.
If you are unable to exercise visitation, you are required to notify the other parent that you cannot exercise that visitation.
Change of employment or address – A parent ordered to pay child support is required to notify the Court and the other parent by U.S. certified mail, return receipt requested, of any change of address and of any termination of employment. This notice is to be given no later than seven days after the change of address or the termination of employment. This notice or a subsequent notice shall also provide the current address of the parent after the move and the name and address of the current employer, whenever that information becomes available.
- Further, the order states that each person who is a party to the Texas divorce decree must notify the other party, the court, and the state registry of any change in current residence address, mailing address, home telephone number, name of employer, address of employment, driver’s license number, and work telephone number. The notice is to be provided at least 60 days before the intended change. If the party could not have known of the change in that time frame, then they must give notice on or before the 5th day after the date the party knows of the change.
These are the main notice provisions in a Texas decree. Each is important and can carry ramifications for failure to notify, including jail time. Beware of failing to give the proper notices.