april and the standard visitation order

It’s April and since there have been no showers (in Dallas) will there be no flowers?  I know, dumb.  Today will be the first weekend visitation for you non-custodial parents in Texas as it is the first Friday of the month.  Your next weekend will be April 15th (second Friday of the month) and then April 29th (5th Friday of the month).  It is going to be a great visitation month!

Thursdays should be standard all the way through the month.  The only holiday this month is Easter weekend.  Unless you have a specific provision for Easter in your decree, it will be the custodial parent’s weekend.

April is the month of notices in a Texas possession schedule.  If you are the non-custodial parent and you wish to pick your extended summer visitation, you will have to have given notice by April 1st of those dates.  If you do not give notice you will get July 1 beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending on July 31st at 6:00 p.m.  The custodial parent has until April 15th to designate one weekend inside the extended summer visitation that they can exercise.  This weekend begins and ends at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and Sunday respectively.  If they do not designate by April 15th, they lose that weekend.

The final April notice date is again April 15th.  If the custodial parent gives the other parent notice by April 15th they can pick one weekend that would have otherwise been the non-custodial parent’s weekend OUTSIDE the extended summer possession.  The difference between this notice and the one just above is that if notice is not given by April 15th, they still can give notice throughout the summer if given 14 days in advance.

I think that just about covers it.  If you have any questions, feel free to enter them in the comment section and I will try to answer them the best I can.


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37 Responses to april and the standard visitation order

  1. Gkoria Fuerte April 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Thanks so much for your blogs. It’s clarify many issues. I have a question. My ex-husband has elected July as his summer visitation and he has plans of taking my two boys out of state. I need my children on July 15 to 17. If I give him notice by April 15th he MUST have the children available for me to pick them at his house here in Dallas? or due to the fact of mentioning his plans (not in detail) I am unable to take that weekend? does he can accuse me of interfering with his visitation?

  2. Chris Schmiedeke April 4, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Yes you can designate that weekend if you do so by the 15th. As far as delivery of the children, check your order for the specific language. Usually the person selecting the weekend does the pickup and drop off. A standard possession order will tell you who picks up and drops off, you just have to thoroughly read the provisions.

  3. Jennifer April 12, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    Hi Chris—I have a question not pertaining to April visitation. In my orders, my ex was ordered to pay $200/mo in additional support for child care until our daughter started kindergarten(which began Aug 23 last year). He was dead set against giving the money to me directly so he set up direct deposit with her preschool/daycare and that 200 came out the 1st of every month. As he moved out of state a few months after our order went into place, he then got his extended summer visitation for 42 days from something like June 4th-July 15th. During that time, for billing purposes, her preschool unenrolled her and then reenrolled her upon her return. So, for the month of June, I paid just for 1 week of tuition.For July, 2 weeks. The billing department made a mistake for the June billing and charged me instead of him, and did the same when she returned in July. When I attempted to correct this and showed them my order stating what he was to pay, they spoke to him about correcting it and authorizing the payments. He refused to pay the $200 for either month, and additionally refused to pay for August as well, deciding that since she began attending school the last week of that month, he just didn’t have to pay for the month at all. He then states that he’ll pay anything that was over $400 for the month of August; I paid $420 for the three weeks of August tuition, so he was offering me $20. I ended up not getting a penny from him and he refused to pay anything when the preschool contacted him, so I was stuck with the total tuition for those 3 months.His defense is that he was only ordered to pay that because of the high cost of daycare(I paid 150/week at the time of our hearing) and if the tuition decreased for those months due to his summer visitation and school beginning at the end of Aug, he wasn’t responsible for paying any amount. Our order doesn’t get into specifics–just states that he was to pay additional support of $200 for childcare until [her 6th birthday] or the day she began school, whichever came first. Unfortunately, when I contacted my lawyer regarding this, she told me my retainer was out and would need a new retainer in order to do any work on it. I was broke and couldn’t afford to pay her a new retainer to try to pursue 600 from him. Would this even be something I should try to pursue in court in front of a judge?

    Another question—my ex has a son from a previous marriage that turned 18 and graduates high school next month. Since my daughter gets 17.5% rather than 20%, I figured I would go to court to get that modified to 20% once his son graduated and he no longer had that child support to pay(although he pays far less than 20% for his son since that order went into place 15 years ago when his income was significantly lower). However, I spoke to his wife and she stated that his orders for his son have him paying child support through college—something I’d never heard before. How can the attorney general enforce that if the child is over 18 and a high school graduate? I have no way of knowing if his son will even be in college or continuing to actually pay that to his ex wife.

  4. Angela Sambrano April 15, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Hi. I have sent my letter to my ex stating what weekend I want and also as to what extra weekend I want during the summer months. My question is , sent it certified mail and tracked it and he has been notified but has not picked it up. Today is the 15th if I send another letter today postmarked with todays date and have delivery confirmation does that count as notifying him by the 15th? Or should I also personally deliver him a letter today when he picks up our child this weekend. Thanks for your time.

  5. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    Sorry I did not get to this in time to help you. In the future, when you send your notice, send it certified mail and first class mail. That way if he refuses the certified, you know he got (or the court will assume he got) the first class mail. As far as the date for the letter, as long as the letter is postmarked by the deadline it is considered mailed timely. Check your order for a provision that provides for mailed notices. There is usually a section that states what constitutes proper notice.

  6. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    Jennifer, you really need to speak to a lawyer about detailed issues with your case.

  7. Crystal April 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Hi. I have a question regarding the Easter holiday. As the Custodial parent I have “posession” of my son this weekend. Our school district is out Friday for a holiday. My ex usually has Thursday posession overnight. I understood it that for a holiday the parent whose weekend would be extended by the school holiday would begin posession when school lets out for that holiday. (So I would get to pick him up Thursday.) My ex is saying that it only says that applies to him in the papers. That his Thursday posession is superior to everything else. I understand you can’t see my papers exactly, but wondered if you know what happens usually. There is no school on Friday so he can’t very well return him to school. He thinks he should just return him when convienient on Friday. I think that is infringing on my holiday time with our son. Would appreciate any clarification. Thank you.

  8. Lisa April 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    I guess my question is similar – I have custody of 4 (9, 11, 13, 17) of our minor children and my ex has 1 (15) minor (her choice to stay). This is my weekend for all the kids. He is the only that gets Thursday visitation and the child that lives with my ex chooses to not visit me at all and I allow her that choice. Because this week is Easter weekend, there is no school on Friday. I also understood that the holiday weekend began at dismissal time on Thursday. He is stating that this only applies regarding the child he has custody of, not the ones that I have custody of and therefore he was to have the kids (that are with me) Thursday. (I realize it is now Friday). The kids said they didn’t want to go and that I couldn’t make them and neither could their dad. I interpreted the orders to mean that I had the kids, and told them so. Am I in violation of the modified possession order?

  9. Chris Schmiedeke April 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    I’m sorry, I cannot understand what you are asking.

  10. Shannon Warren May 23, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    I was wondering does standard 1st 3rd and 5th weekend as well as every Wednesday visitation apply during the summer months as well? Since my ex did not give me notice of his visitation my papers read he can have the kids from July 1st – July 15th. That is it. So I am wondering do I still have to give him the kids on those weekends as well as Wednesdays? If so, how does this allow me to plan things over the summer months if I have to be home every Wednesday as well as 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends. Thanks

  11. Carol June 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    I recently sued my ex for and was awarded full custody and my ex & I are in a temporary orders phase, with our court date set for end of summer. We have a stipulation in place that states no overnights at all. No summer access was requested on either side as yet. How is extended summer visitation supposed to play out under these conditions?

  12. Chris Schmiedeke June 10, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Either the court will put specific orders in place or the two of you will reach agreements. Obviously if there are no overnights then it will not be a standard extended summer possession.

  13. Chris Schmiedeke June 10, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    In a standard possession order, the weekends apply during the summer. The weekday visits do not (i.e. Wednesdays or Thursdays). Again, in a standard possession order, there are provisions where you can give notice and take one of those 1st, 3rd, or 5th weekends during the summer which open up a few weeks for vacation.

    I sound like a broken record in all my responses, but I’ll say it again. Read your order. Your answer is typically right there. Read my blog. Look around. There is good stuff in here, and all these questions have been answered in other posts. Don’t get stuck on the first post that you find.

  14. Kristi Gore July 22, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    I have a question in regards to summer visitation by the noncustodial parent. During the summer visitation my ex has been out of town during his designated visitation. He picked up the children on Friday and then left to work out out of town throughout the week and then returns over the weekend. During this time he has left my children with various sitters and family members. The children were returned to me in the middle of his vistation while he was out of town. He then wanted to send a family member to pick them back up while he was out of town. He said he can designate a comeptent adult to pick up his children during his visitation. Can he do this when he is out of town? He has also said that he can designate someone to pick them up on his Thursdays for the 2 hours if he is unable to make the visitation himself. Can you please explain further about designating a competent adult to pick up and drop off your children in the standard posession?

  15. Chris Schmiedeke August 1, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Read your order. Typically there is a provision allowing a party to designate a person to pick up the children for those times when the parent cannot make it. It is not designed for visitation, simply to pick up and drop off.

  16. Tiffany August 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    We would like to split up our summer possession next year so that we have the children 15 days in June and 15 days in July so they can attend a couple summer camps that are a week long. If we give written notice to the CP and they refuse the dates, is there anything we can do?

  17. Angie March 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Hi. I am the Custodial Parent of 3 children. My divorce happened in Texas but I moved out of state in 2007 with the Court’s permission. The Non-custodial parent has not seen the kids since we left in 2007. He now wants to exercise his summer visitation. I am fine with that however he rarely contacts the children and again, has not seen them in 5 years. I have asked that we fly in and I deliver the children to his house, just to give the children peace of mind that Mommy knows where they are and that Dad’s house is ok. He wants to meet me at the airport and just take them immediately. After 5 years of not seeing them (they were 5, 5 and 4 last time they saw him), he is somewhat of a stranger. I understand that the papers do not address this type of issue, when it has been so long. I want what is best for my children’s emotional well-being. I live in Maryland and would be returning to Maryland while they stay in Texas. I just wish he could work with me for the benefit of the children, they are asking for this reassurance. Not sure how to address this with him. thanks

  18. Dana April 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    My question is about the Extended Summer for the non-custodial parent. I sent by email on March 31, my request for two periods for June 20, 2012 until July 5, 2012, from 6 pm until 6 pm and July 24, 2012 until August 8, 2012 again from 6 pm until 6 pm. The custodial parent sent a request on April 15 for the weekend of July 6, 2012 and July 27, 2012 as the Friday. Is this legal? I heard that it wasn’t from two attorneys and that it was legal from another. Which is it?

  19. Dana April 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Another question: Me and the primary custodial parent are in legal dispute. We have a social study investigator involved. She meets weekly with the custodial parent and very seldom with me. How does the social study investigator come to a decision? What does she use to base her decision on? WHat is likely to happen after she writes a recommendation?

  20. Chris Schmiedeke May 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Your question is a bit confusing. Under a standard possession order, the custodial parent can pick ONE weekend inside the non-custodial parent’s extended summer possession (thirty days) and they can pick ONE weekend outside the extended summer possession that would otherwise be the a weekend for the NCP.

    If I read your post correctly, one of her weekends (July 27) is within your thirty day period and one weekend (July 6th) is outside your thirty days and would have otherwise been your weekend.

    If you still do not understand, you will need to have an attorney review your order.

  21. Nadine June 8, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    My brother has “extended shared visitation” of his 5 year old daughter. He gets her the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend. His pick up states possesion begins on Thursdays which is 3:00 PM (they’ve agreed to follow the school schedule pick up and drop off times although she’s not yet in school) her drop off is Monday at 8:00AM. He also gets her overnight every other Thursday. My question is this and I’m sure you get asked this a lot. It has to do with when there’s a fifth weekend in a month. This always seems to cause confusion. For example, my brother picked her up last week on Thursday 5/31/12 at 3:00 PM, he kept her for the weekend and dropped her off on Monday 6/4/12 at 8:00am. Now the confusion, here comes Thursday 6/7/12. He’s under the impression that last weekend was the 5th weekend and she’s under the impression it was the 1st weekend of June. Could you please help clarify this. Their biggest issue is they lack good communication with one another, I just hope it gets better before she starts school next year, I can only imagine how much more confusing it’s going to be with vacations, school holidays etc…..

  22. Jen June 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    I have a question about extended summer visitation for parents under the more than 100 mile provision—if the custodial parent failed to give notice by April 15 to designate their 21 days of summer possession does that mean they forfeit that 21 day election? Then, can the non- custodial parent still exercise standard visitation during their 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends after their forty two consecutive days of extended summer possession ends?

  23. Patty January 24, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    We have a standard order (I did the divorce myself) and notice that Easter falls on “his” weekend (non-custodial) in 2013 as it has for the past two years. Do we just negotiate this amongst ourselves and swap a weekend so I can have my daughter for Easter?

  24. Chris Schmiedeke January 24, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Yes. If your order does not specifically have a provision for Easter, you will need to negotiate.

  25. Ozzie Vazquez May 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    I have the same problem but in a different situation. I am a Soldier stationed in Korea and have my oldest son primary custody. As per my decree she is supposed to have custody from 1 thru 30 July but she cannot afford to pay for my youngest son travel here (50% of all travel as per court orders) much less pay what she owes plus another two tickets (son is young enough to need an escort so she has to buy two tickets). I have asked her many times over the past 4 months to send me her plan for travel and she refuses. Because my job in the military I cannot trust that she just tell me one day “Hey, put him on a plane tomorrow or next week”, I need reasonable time to get sitter arrangements, work arrangements and of course, need to plan ahead with enough time that if he will not be going I know what the plan for his care is rather than wait until the last minute.

    My concern is that she is just waiting until the last minute to give me notice and drop on me any plans or arrangements I might have made or just drop it on me that she can’t pay and either ask me to pay for it or tell me I will need to make arrangements for summer care (which means day care enrollment (takes time to get on post day care and will be full or if I go off post will be super expensive). I have sent her emails, texts, letters of notice to ensure I ask her to send me something in writing and she refuses to “write anything that I can later use against her”.

    My question is: at what point, does the law in Texas considers a reasonable notice timeline in my case. I know April 1st is the cut out for her receiving 30 days in July, but considering international travel arrangements or special care must be arranged in my situation and she does not and has not given notice, at what point can I deny her visitation if she does not provide reasonable notice timeline. She has no ticket, has not travel plan (she needs to arrange for unacompanied travel and find a airline that is willing to do unacompanied child traveler and purchase a round trip overseas and IT MUST be a direct flight to and from without any connecting flights in order.

  26. Danny May 25, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    What if I don’t get a written notice for the one weekend of my month in July? I get the kids for the whole month , except one weekend that she chooses. I still haven’t received anything in writing, text, etc about the weekend she wants. Does she lose it?

  27. Chris Schmiedeke May 26, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

    Under a standard possession order, if the custodial parent does not give notice by April 15th of a weekend inside the non-custodial parents extended summer possession then they forfeit that weekend?

  28. Kasey March 16, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

    Hi thanks for your help. What is the CP is arguing that she gets all of the weekends during those thirty day. Even though the paper work is clearly stated? How do we deal with this if she won’t give the child back

  29. Tarrik Baker March 31, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    Can an email be considered written notice for summer extended visit

  30. Chris Schmiedeke April 3, 2017 at 8:18 am #

    Tarrik, review your order. What does it say? I would think that an email is sufficient, however, the problem becomes proving it was sent and received in the event the other party denies receiving it.

    Be sure and check out my new website www.chrislawyer.com as I am phasing out this blog and moving everything to my website.

  31. Chris Schmiedeke April 3, 2017 at 8:27 am #

    Speak to a local attorney and first send a letter explaining the confusion. They can remind the other party that you will file an enforcement of the order if they fail to return the child. Call a local attorney and let them help you.

    Be sure and check out my new website www.chrislawyer.com as I am phasing out this blog and moving everything to my website.

  32. Araceli cruz April 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    For this year I (custodial)parent will have this weekend … however school last day is Thursday and will return till tuesday for Easter holidays. Does it mean that I get possession of my kids since Thursday when released out of school. Or do they still have to visit with dad on Thursday like they usually do. I understood that it’s my weekend when they are released from school.

  33. Chris Schmiedeke April 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

    Review your order. It specifically lays out the timeline of when each party gets the children. In a standard possession order there should be no overlapping time.

    Be sure to check out my website at http://www.chrislawyer.com as I am moving my blog over there as “articles”.

  34. Megan April 13, 2017 at 9:33 am #

    My ex (NCP) and his lawyer are claiming that my ex gets to extend his 30 day summer possession because I will have the kids for my allowed weekend within his 30 days. My decree says nothing about extending his 30 day period. Please advise.

  35. Chris Schmiedeke April 13, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Megan, I think you have answered your own question. The order controls 100%. There are no secret rules. If it is not in the order, then it does not exist. I am not sure what your order has in it, but in a Texas Standard Possession order, there is not additional time if the custodial parent uses their weekend inside the extended summer possession of the non-custodial parent.

    If you continue to have problems with the other side, you may need to consult a local attorney and have them contact them.

    Good luck.

    If you have some time, check out my new website at http://www.chrislawyer.com as I am moving my blog over there.

  36. Kristy Nichols January 24, 2018 at 10:59 pm #

    I am a NCP in Texas can I text my notice of my extended summer. I also live more than 100 miles away so instead of 30 days it’s my understanding that I can have 42-45 days with my son.


  1. April and Standard Visitation in Texas | The Dallas Divorce Blog - March 30, 2012

    […] after a long hiatus I am back.  Next month is April…what do we have on tap for standard visitation?  Click on the link for a review of last […]

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