texas standard possession order de-mystified – weekend possessions

This is my first post in a series on the Texas Standard Possession Order and the wording associated with visitation in Texas.

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 standard calendar, find the first Friday of any given month and that is the first Friday described in the standard possession order. The third weekend 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 that month, in effect giving two weekends in a row. This pattern continues throughout the year and is only superseded (or replaced) by holiday visitations.

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.

In my next post, I will discuss the Thursday periods of possession of the Texas Standard Possession Order.

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160 Responses to texas standard possession order de-mystified – weekend possessions

  1. Chris Schmiedeke May 26, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    The order controls. Whatever the order says.

  2. Chris Schmiedeke May 26, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

    Not sure. That is not a standard possession order, so without seeing your decree it is impossible to say.

  3. Chris Schmiedeke May 26, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    Follow the order. If the order needs to be fixed, file a motion to modify the order with the court.

  4. Justin September 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    We have a Standare order also however, the non custodial parent chose the pick up at time school is dismissed. We worked this out last year with her by letting her pick child up at our house at 5 or 5:15. This year she is telling us that she is unable to get the child until 6 or 6:30. We have let her know we have plans made for several of the Fridays and she needs to pick child up as she elected in court. She is telling us she has until 6 to pick her up from our home. Is this correct because we are unable to even find a sitter to stay till she gets here at those times? We have worked with her alot and told her she needs to modify. I told her that if she couldn’t get to my home by 4:30 she may have to forfeit the weekend and us take child with us out of town. What would be the correct thing here. In our order it says nothing about 6pm during school year…it just says she picks up child from school at time school is dismissed?? We are so lost but they are our plans we make for when child is gone…so we just don’t understand.
    Thank you for your blog

  5. John October 5, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    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. Normally i drop my kids off on Monday at school. This Monday is a holiday do I take them to school on Tuesday? We are less then 100 miles.

  6. Cemanthia November 3, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    My daughter is just getting to know her dad. She is 6 and it is coming up on 1 year they he has been apart of her life. He sees her 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturday 1-5. With that said do I follow normal holiday schedule or do we continue to go by the order in play? Thank you for taking the time to answer my question as well as you can.

  7. Cassandra November 7, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

    If my husbands papers says under general terms and conditions that he may elect to pick the child up after school and return when school begins the next day, how does he elect that? Does he just need to say so or was there something he needed to do prior to the order?

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