Another misunderstood part of the Texas Standard Possession Order is the summer possession schedule.
If the parent with visitation (not the custodial parent) gives the parent with custody notice by April 1st of a given year they can pick thirty days for their summer possession (or 42 days if they live over 100 miles from the child). This thirty day period cannot begin until the day after school lets out for summer break and cannot end later than 7 days before the child goes back to school.
This thirty days cannot be exercised in more than two periods of at least 7 consecutive days. This means that you cannot pick four one-week possessions, or thirty random days.
If the parent does not give written notice by April 1st they get July 1st through July 31st by default. For parents who live more than 100 miles apart the default time is June 15 through July 27th. Pick up and drop off times are 6:00 p.m.
Once the summer possession has been set by either notice having been sent or not, the parent with custody can then set their summer possession schedule.
If the parent with custody gives the visiting parent notice by April 15th of a year, they can choose one weekend during the visiting parent’s thirty day extended summer visitation to exercise visitation with the child. The visit begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ends at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and that parent must pick up the child and drop the child off back to the other parent to finish their thirty day summer visitation. This allows the custodial parent to not have to go thirty days without seeing the child. For parents who live over 100 miles from each other, the parent can choose two non-consecutive weekends provided the visiting parent is exercising more than thirty days for their summer possession. This means that if the visiting parent is using the full 42 days in a row, the other parent can choose two non-consecutive weekends under this provision.
In addition to this one weekend, the custodial parent can designate another weekend, outside of the thirty day summer possession, when the visiting parent would have otherwise had a weekend visit. Remember from my original standard possession order weekend post that the weekends continue through the summer when there is no extended summer visitation occurring.
To get this weekend, the parent must give the other parent written notice by April 15th of a year or 14 days written notice if after April 15th. This weekend cannot conflict with the other parents thirty day extended summer possession or Father’s day if the other parent is the father. This provision allows the custodial parent to plan summer vacations with the child.
If the parents live over 100 miles from each other, the custodial parent can choose 21 days during the summer that would have otherwise gone to the visiting parent provided they provide the notice above and provided that the days chosen do not conflict with the extended summer possession of the visiting parent or with father’s day if the visiting parent is the father.
In my next post I will discuss holiday visits under the Texas Standard Possession Order.