September and Standard Possession Order in Texas

Okay, we have a lot to talk about for the upcoming month of September and standard possession in Texas as it gets off to a tricky start.

The kids are back at school and we are entering our post summer routine.  This would be a good time to review your Texas standard possession order and refresh your memory on its terms and perhaps mark your calendar for the upcoming visitation days and holidays.

Let’s begin with the end of August.  There was a fifth Friday in August AND the weekend ends with a holiday (Labor Day).  That means you will have the child from Friday, August 29th to Monday, September 1 under a standard possession order.

REFRESHER: We measure weekends under a standard possession order in Texas by Fridays.  When you say you have the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends, that means the 1st, 3rd and 5th Fridays.

So if you would normally return at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, you will now return at 6:00 p.m. on Monday.  This is a good time to review your decree and understand the “Weekend Possession Extended by a Holiday” provision.  For Monday holidays it reads as follows:

“Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Standard Possession Order, if a weekend period of possession by (the non-custodial parent) ends on or is immediately followed by a student holiday or a teacher in-service day that falls on a Monday during the regular school term, as determined by the school in which the child is enrolled, or a federal, state, or local holiday that falls on a Monday during the summer months when school is not in session, that weekend period of possession shall end at 6:00 p.m. on that Monday.”

The following weekend in September will be the 1st Friday of the month, or the 5th.  You will have that weekend and the 19th as your weekend visits.  You should have every Thursday this month unless of course you have an old order with Wednesdays.

Pretty standard stuff, yes?  Have a good September!


14 Responses to September and Standard Possession Order in Texas

  1. renee September 17, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    My kids go to a charter school that has a different school calendar. I am the non-custodial parent. My order states that I get the kids until 6pm if a Monday falls on school holiday, federal holiday, etc. The kids have a school break for two weeks in October. Since they will not be in school for one of those Mondays, do I keep kids until 6pm on that Monday? Thank you and I appreciate your blog and website!

  2. Chris Schmiedeke September 17, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    That is a good question. I think you would have that monday despite the fact that that provision was not really set up for that situation. At some point you may want to modify your visitation order to deal with that holiday in October so that you get more time. I am assuming that you have a standard possession order and that the fall break is not contemplated in there.

    You are always best served to speak to local attorneys about these cases to get their opinion on the issue and the court that it is in.

  3. Michael October 8, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    I am the custodial parent. My ex-wife gave me her notice of Aug 29-31 for visitation without a time. So she picked him up by 6:00 that Friday and I assumed she would bring him back by 6:00 pm that Sunday, but kept our son for the following day which was a holiday. She didn’t notify me that she would keep him for that Monday until I asked what time she was going to bring him back, since it was getting late. Does she have to give notice that he will be keeping him for that extra day as well as time or can she just automatically do that without notifying me?

  4. Chris Schmiedeke October 9, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    Michael, I am not clear what you are referring to. Why would your wife be giving you notice for a weekend visit? I think you are confused about whether she is required to give you notice of terms that are in your decree. She is not required to give you notice for weekend visits, she just exercises them when they are set. Additionally, if her weekend was extended by a Monday holiday, which is a standard provision in Texas standard possession order, she is not required to notify you of that either.

    You need to understand when her visitation is and have the child available for those times. If she CANNOT exercise the visitation, then she needs to give you notice.

  5. Michael October 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    In the divorce decree it states she gets any weekend of her choice once a month with a14 day notice because she resides more than 100 miles away. That is why she has to give me a notice. So does this change your answer for my question.

  6. Chris Schmiedeke October 14, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    Okay, so it was a summer weekend possession? Seems like most kids are back in school by that time, but perhaps yours are not. I really don’t have a good answer for you. Just remember that if it is a holiday on Monday and she picks that weekend, she most likely will be entitled to that Monday as well. Understand your order.

    However, if the kids were back in school, then I don’t think that provision, assuming that she was giving you summer weekend possession notice under a Texas Standard Possession Order, still applies. She would just have her regular weekends. She would also get the Labor Day holiday under the extended weekend possession of a standard possession order.

    She is not really required to give you notice, it is just assumed you understand your order.

  7. Michael October 15, 2014 at 6:51 am #

    Thank you Chris.

  8. Anonymous December 4, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Hi Chris. My divorce was final 3 years ago with the Standard Possession Order and residency of the parent/child has to be in Tarrant or a contiguous county of Tarrant. I am getting re-married. My ex and I currently live 7 miles away from each other and he has our girls every Monday and Thursday nights, as well as every other weekend. (I agreed to letting him have Monday night as a chance for him to still have a good relationship with our kids, but it is not written in the divorce decree.)

    My finace and I are trying to decide where to live. He currently lives in Hood county, which is not contiguous to Tarrant. We are thinking about a place in the middle that falls in Johnson county. However, my ex says he will contest everything because he won’t be able to see his girls as much. My fiancé and I have told him we will work with him to see the girls. I talked to my lawyer and she said he can contest where we move if it’s too far of a distance and adds significant drive time for him to see the girls. She also said that a judge could rule in his favor and make him the custodial parent if it’s a significant distance.

    My question for you is, what is defined as a significant distance? Since we are now only 15 minutes apart and have a nanny that transports the girls from his house to school, to my house, etc. anything different is going to be an inconvenience to him. My finance and I just want to know what our options are…

    Thank you!

  9. Chris Schmiedeke December 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don’t. Your attorney is exactly right in what could possibly happen, only there is no potential to lose the kids if you don’t actually move, or stay within the geographic restriction. These cases are so heavily fact based that it is impossible to speak with any certainty about any one specific case.

    My best suggestion is to sit down and do a “pro” and “con” sheet for your geographic relocation as it relates to your ex. Your attorneys job would be to highlight all the “pro’s” and find ways to mitigate the “cons”. Good luck.

  10. Beth June 4, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    What if it’s our weekend to have the child and monday is the first day of school? Can we take the child to school or does the child still need to be returned Sunday at 6pm?

  11. Heather September 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    My daughter is in daycare and doesn’t currently have a school schedule that she necessarily goes by. She is not yet three years old. We do have a modified version of extended standard visitation in which the only differences he returns her to me on Sundays by 6 PM. I requested the Labor Day holiday as my extended summer visit that would normally be his weekend and I am the custodial parent. He is saying that I have no right to exercise my request since it is his weekend. I even let him have her two weekends in a row in order to make up for not getting her this weekend and offered to still let him have her one day this weekend as well. He acts very immaturely about the entire situation and I am ready to get my court orders modified so that I can request weekends once or twice during the year on occasion to make plans. I have no problem working with him but he unfortunately is not there yet. What are my rights and thank you for this blog.

    An unrelated question is what are his responsibilities regarding her health? He refuses to ever take her to the doctor despite a flexible job schedule and hatefully states he will “gladly switch schedules with me” if it’s too much for me to handle. He has brought her home very sick more than once. It makes job stability for me difficult since I can’t rely on anyone for help.

  12. Heather September 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    He also keeps her uniforms for school and doesn’t return items as our decree stated he is supposed to and is constantly doing things that disregard putting her health and well being first. I’m really tired of the situation. I would love to get things changed in our decree/orders since he does seem to follow it like a rulebook. However, he’s completely inflexible although he expects me to bend if he says bend. Originally our mediated decree stated he got her Wednesday’s overnight and then every other weekend Friday through Monday morning (school). He got an attorney to speed up finalizing the decree who talked me into extended standard and bring her home Sunday’s at 6. He also tells him he can get him 50/50 visitation after she turns 3. He is AWFUL to work with and refuses to communicate with me on anything now, and I truly believe his only motivation is to not pay child support once she is 3. She comes home in diapers after I have her in pull ups and doing well with potty training. She will say “I don’t want to go on the potty” the Sunday I get her back. It’s so frustrating. I feel there’s an emotional element to it as well – it’s like he tries to make sure she gets upset when he drops her off by prolonging his goodbye. I feel like he enjoys knowing she cries. What can I do? I’m ready to get an attorney I believe.

  13. Jeremy Bailey July 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm #

    If the Christmas Break is not mentioned or designated to either parent, except Christmas Day and Christmas Eve specifically in my modified possession of order, is it safe for me to believe the ‘Weekend Extended by a Holiday’ clause will then be enforced since technically it’s a school holiday during the regular school term? So, if I normally pick my son up every third Friday after school, and that’s when they let out for Christmas break, I would then have him those couple weeks upon his return, other than the two mentioned days and the mother’s weekend?

  14. Chris Schmiedeke September 6, 2019 at 10:37 am #

    It is impossible for me to comment on visitation orders without seeing them. This is obviously not a standard possession order. Make an appointment with a local attorney and pay them a few bucks to review your order with you.

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