Tag Archives: Standard Possession Order

March and Spring Break Visitation in Texas

March is quickly approaching, what do we have on tap in March under a Texas standard visitation order?

The non-custodial parent will have the right to visitation on the weekend of the 21st of March, which is the 3rd Friday of the month. We know from previous posts that weekends are measured by Fridays in Texas and those Fridays are the 1, 3 and 5th Friday of the month.

You may be asking yourself, where is the 1st Friday of the month?  That is a great questions.  If you remember, holiday visits in Texas are superior to weekend or midweek visits.  The 1st Friday in the month of March is the 7th.  If this date is your child’s Spring Break, then you are getting Spring Break already and are not concerned with the weekend visit.

However, if your child’s Spring Break is the following week, you would get the child on the 7th of March (1st Friday of the month), keep the child the following week (spring break) and return the child at the time designated in your order the following Sunday.  You will also get the 21st (3rd Friday).

So if my math is correct, and your child has Spring Break the week of March 10th, then under the Texas standard possession order, you are getting three weekends in a row.  That doesn’t sound to bad for the non-custodial parent, however, for the custodial parent that does not work out to well.

This is a situation where the standard visitation order gets a little clunky, but there is no way around it because there has to be some consistent dates for holidays.

You will get every Thursday (or Wednesdays in older orders) this month.  Of course one of those is actually your holiday visit, and the others are you standard visitation, during the school term, visits.

Hope that helps!  Talk to you soon.

Weekends under the Standard Possession Order Part Deux

I have posted about this subject on multiple occasions, both in discussing weekend visits and in my posts on specific monthly visits.  Despite this, I still receive tons of questions about whether weekend visits occur during the summer.  Perhaps revisiting my standard visitation weekend post (with new emphasis) may help:

The foundation for the Texas Standard Possession Order is the weekend visit. Weekend visits occur on the first, third and fifth Friday of every month. When looking at a monthly calendar, find the first Friday of any given month and that is the first Friday described in the standard possession order. The third Friday is self explanatory and occasionally there will be a fifth Friday in a month.

When there is a fifth Friday in a given month, the immediately following Friday will be the first Friday of the new month, in effect giving two weekends in a row.

This pattern continues throughout the year and is only superseded (or replaced) by holiday visitations, BUT NOT SUMMER break. This means that during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the weekend visits disappear because the holiday visits take precedent.  However, the weekend possessions CONTINUE DURING THE SUMMER.

The standard pickup time for the Texas Standard Possession Order is 6:00 p.m. on Friday. However, the person exercising visitation has the right to elect that their visits begin at the time the child’s school is dismissed, or any time between the time the child’s school is dismissed and 6:00 p.m., if that election is made before entry of the order and it is reflected in the order. This means that you cannot elect this provision after the order is entered.

The standard drop off time for the Texas Standard Possession Order is 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following the first, third or fifth Friday of the month. However, as stated above, the person exercising visitation has the right to elect that the visitation ends at time school resumes on the Monday following the first, third, or fifth Friday of any given month provided the election is made prior to entry of the order.

If the parties live more than 100 miles from each other, the person exercising visitation can either exercise the weekend visits as set out above or they can elect to exercise one weekend per month of their choice to begin at 6:00 p.m. on that Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday. The visiting parent must give 14 days written or telephonic notice of the weekend they choose. Additionally, this election for one weekend per month must be made in writing to the parent with custody of the child within 90 days after the parties begin to live more than 100 miles apart.

If a first, third or fifth weekend (or the weekend designated if over 100 miles) coincides with a school holiday during the school term or with a federal, state or local holiday during the summer, the weekend possession will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday immediately preceding a Friday holiday or it will end at 6:00 p.m. on the Monday holiday. If alternate pick up and drop off times were made as described above then those would apply here as well.

By way of example, if Memorial Day weekend is a person’s visitation weekend, then their possession would end on that Monday holiday at 6:00 p.m. and not at 6:00 p.m. the preceding Sunday. If they had elected to return the child to school at the end of their possession times then that parent would return the child to school on Tuesday morning following the Monday holiday.

Hopefully this will shed some more light on the weekend visits under a standard possession order in Texas.

Happy New Year! What are we doing about Standard Visitation for January?

Okay, January is here and it is 2013!  What do we have on tap for our weekend and Thursday periods of possession this month?  Let’s see:

Weekend possessions – If your child returned to school yesterday or today (which most did), then the first weekend of the month would have been trumped by the Christmas holiday possession.  Therefore the first weekend possession this month will be January 18th (3rd Friday of the month).  There is no fifth Friday this month, so only one weekend of standard possession this month.  But wait!  There’s more…if your child is released from school for the Martin Luther King holiday, then the provision for extended weekends will apply.  That holiday is the Monday following the standard possession weekend.

In quick review, if MLK day is a holiday for your child and your possession ends at 6:00 p.m. on a typical Sunday, then your possession will now end at 6:00 p.m. on Monday.  This is all assuming that you have that provision in your decree.  Check in the visitation section for the “extended by holiday” section.

As for Thursdays (or Wednesdays under old orders) you will get the 10, 17, 24, and 31 (or 9, 16, 23, or 30).

That’s it for this month.  Post comments if you have questions.

Let’s make 2013 the year of compassion when it comes to visitation.  Let’s try to do at least one nice thing this year when a dispute arises as to visitation.  Can we do that?  One thing this year?  I can hear the response…”but they never do anything nice for me…..”  Then I guess you are a better person than they are.  When you give someone a gift, do you expect that they give you a gift back?  I hope not.

Happy New Year.