Here we go again…..

Sorry, I got behind again on my posts.  As I can see from reviewing my “comments” to my April post, I may need to review the summer “notice” provisions again.  It appears that many of you get confused because one party is learning to “game” the system.  What I mean by that is this:

  • Non custodial parent (ncp) is entitled to thirty days in the summer and must elect their time by April 1 or it will revert to July 1 – July 31st.  Let’s pretend I am the ncp and I send written notice on March 31st via certified mail and first class mail.  First problem is that the custodial parent (cp) does not pick up the certified mail and it just sits.  It does not matter.  I met the notice requirements and they are on notice whether they pick up or not.  To be safe, i may also send via email.
  • Here is where I “game” it.  I pick my first two weeks to be as follows – July 8th until July 20th.  That is the first part of my extended summer possession and accounts for 12 days.  HOWEVER, look at your calendar.  I also get standard weekends in the summer.  That means that I will pick up the child on July 6th at 6:00 p.m. and keep the child until Sunday the 8th at 6:00 p.m.  My next possession is my extended summer possession and begins on Sunday the 8th at 6:00 p.m.  That means I keep the child from the weekend.  My possession then goes until Friday the 20th at 6:00 p.m., but wait, I also get that weekend as it is a third weekend, and it begins on Friday at 6:00 p.m. so I would keep the child until that Sunday at 6:00 p.m. before I returned to cp.

As you can see from that hypothetical, I have only used twelve days of my extended summer possession, but have gotten 16 days out of it.  I can do this all over again one more time if I wanted to.  That is what you call gaming the system.

This post answers a few of the comments I had regarding notice under the standard possession order in Texas.  There were many more and I will try to address them as they come up.

Talk to you soon.

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10 Responses to Here we go again…..

  1. Lily May 18, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    unrelated question: Do you have any guidelines on handling divorce and children’s medical bills.

    My daughter in having her tonsils removed and I am a little worried on how the financial details are going to play out. There are 3 major bills doctor, surgical center and anesthesia. All these places estimate cost nothing in certain. All say we have to wait and see how it runs thru the insurances. To further complicate the situation we both have her cover by insurance (she has 2 insurance polices). I know we are going to have to pay off deductibles first.

    I guess the question is : Is there and easy guideline or step by step process to follow and reasonable time limits to expect and how to work out financial responsibility if he cannot pay (we each are responsible for 50% after insurance) I am worried he wont pay his half to the doctor and my credit will take a hit.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. Sarah June 4, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Why does the non-custodial parent have the opportunity to “exploit” the possession schedule and the custodial parent never given this same opportunity?

    Not to say I am the type to explot it, but to play devil’s advocate… where’s my chance to get to exploit my ex-husbands possession period? When do I get to manipulate the SPO to my advantage?

  3. Robin June 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Your scenerio is flawed. Texas Family Code only allows for the NCP to break up their 30 days of summer visitation into two segments, therefore you cannot “do it all over again” because you would have already used up your two segments of summer visitation (wrapped around regular weekend visitation).

    Also, the CP can give notice to take away one weekend during the NCP’s summer visitation time as well as one weekend of 1/3/5 visitation, so the NCP would not be getting their full 16 days of visitation if the CP chose to “game it” as well.

  4. Victoria August 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    To answer Sarah’s question, it has been my experience that the business of manipulating the SPO to either party’s advantage is an arduous task, but even more so for the CP. The CP’s best offense is documentation of violations of the SPO. There are a lot of finicky rules about giving notice to the other party – in the event of inability to exercise visitation, change of residence or job, to give notice of periods of extended summer possession, etc. A whole stack of such violations could be useful in future court battles, although this is almost certain to be expensive and may not necessarily be well received by a judge, if the some purpose is to be antagonistic to the NCP. However, the SPO does include language to the effect that failure to exercise visitation could be grounds for modification, do that’s worth considering. Also, as a CP, you can give notice to the NCP to exercise a weekend visitation out of the NCP’s extended summer possession, so that gives you a bit of a trump card, if you will, as the NCP doesn’t have the option to refuse the weekend of your choice. But really, as the CP, you get the better end of the bargain by having substantially more time with your child. If the NCP tries to double-weekend you over the summer, exercise one of those weekends as the weekend of your choice that the NCP has to forego, since the SPO also has a summer provision that allows the CP to designate one of the NCP’s weekend visitations not to take place. That’s all I’ve got for right now, except this: having been on both sides of the CP/NCP coin, I can definitely say that no matter how many loopholes the NCP finds to manipulate the SPO, s/he always, always goes home at the end of the weekend/summer/holiday feeling empty-handed and cheated.

  5. Victoria August 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    (Please excuse the typos, I was typing from my phone)

  6. Carla December 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    I am the CP. We live over 100 miles away from his father. His father gets him for 42 days in the summer. Is this correct? I don’t understand why the standard possession continues in the summer, especially since he gets him for 42 days of it. It has been extremely difficult to do the 1st, 3rd & 5th, since one lives in Houston and the other in Dallas. What about my weekends? If he has him for 42 days, then I am losing my 2nd & 4th weekends. We are newly divorced and it is all extremely confusing to me.

  7. Carla December 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Also, he has him for Christmas this year, so he gets him from the 22nd to the 28th, and I get him from the 29th until he goes back to school on July 7th…right? My holiday time supersedes his first weekend in Jan…yes?

  8. Chris Schmiedeke January 8, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Correct, if the child started school this week. Check out my new post.

  9. Chris Schmiedeke January 8, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    You need to read your order carefully as there are provisions in there that allow you to have some time during his forty-two days.

  10. Sue April 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    I do not think the system should be “gamed.” this makes it very confusing for the kids.

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