summer visitation in Texas

It is the month of May and summer in Texas is upon us.  Just a little refresher on summer visitation and the standard visitation orders in Texas.

For the parent with visitation:

April 1st  is the deadline to designate your thirty days of visitation in the summer if your standard possession order is out of Texas.  If you designated days, then you know when your visit begins and ends.  If you did not designate your visitation times by April 1st then it defaults to July 1 through July 31st .  The possession beginning and ending times are 6:00 p.m. by default in Texas.  Always check your order for exact dates and times.

Custodial parent (parent with custody):

For the custodial parent, you have certain times set out for you for summer visitation in Texas as well.  If you give the visiting parent notice by April 15th you can designate one weekend in their thirty day period of possession to have the child.  It will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and you must do all the driving (i.e. pick up and drop off).  If you did not designate this weekend by April 15th then you lose that weekend.

For example, if the visiting parent did not designate their thirty day summer possession by April 1st then we know they get the month of July.  If the custodial parent gives notice between April 2 and April 15 of a weekend in July that they would like possession of the child, they get that weekend.  If they do not give notice during that time frame they do not get any weekends during the thirty days summer visitation of the visiting parent.

The custodial parent gets and additional summer weekend pursuant to the standard visitation orders in Texas.  This weekend takes place outside of the visiting parent’s thirty day summer possession.  If the custodial parent gives the visiting parent notice by April 15th or 14 days written notice on or after April 16th, that parent can choose one weekend during the summer to exercise visitation that would have otherwise been the visiting parent’s weekend.   Again, this visit begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ends at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday and the custodial parent must do all the driving.

Using our example above we know that the visiting parent has extended summer possession for the month of July in Texas without any other notice.  That leaves June and August for the custodial parent to choose a weekend.  Lets say custodial parent misses the April 15th date but gives written notice to the other parent on July 16th that they will exercise their summer visitation weekend on August 6th, a weekend that would have otherwise been the visiting parent’s weekend.  Under that scenario, that parent would have the child beginning July 31st at 6:00 p.m. through August 20th at 6:00 p.m. (the next weekend possession by the visiting parent).  That allows plenty of time for a summer vacation to some beautiful locale in the great State of Texas.

Again, check your order for exact times for pick up and drop off as they may vary in your order.

That about wraps it up for summer visitation in Texas under a standard possession order.  As always, feel free to comment.

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447 Responses to summer visitation in Texas

  1. Nessa June 15, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    In my case, I have a standard court order and I allow my sons dad to see him whenever he wants. He never calls or asks about our son and until two months ago when I reached out to him he wasn’t picking him up for weekly thursday visits. We arranged for me to drop our son off Mondays instead of Thursdays because it works better with his schedule and I want him to be able to see his son. Now he never wrote a letter saying what days he wanted him but he requested the month of June which I have no problem with. I was wondering because I am a little confused with the wording on the order but during the summer months not including June because he currently has him and I get my one weekend, do I have to continue dropping my son off once a week for him or is that only during the school year? I do not mind the way things are right now I am just curious because there are parts that don’t make sense to me. Thank you.

  2. Nessa June 15, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    I just realized that it is during the school year only, sorry, you don’t have to respond haha

  3. Raul June 27, 2017 at 10:32 pm #

    I am the noncustodial parent…my daughters are 14 and 11…they decided they don’t want to come with me for the summer .. do I still have the right to pick them up even if they don’t want to come? I believe their mom is brainwashing them, but I have no evidence of that. I am in the state of Texas and I live in El Paso and my daughters are in Fort Worth. Please help.

  4. Pattye June 29, 2017 at 5:46 pm #

    Extended summer 2017 without notice
    Do I get kids June 30th for the 5th weekend of June and start my summer Sat July 1st ?

  5. Chris Schmiedeke July 14, 2017 at 8:33 am #


  6. Krystal Krob July 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm #

    Can custodial parent take child out of state on their period of possession without notification visiting another state?

  7. Mike July 28, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

    Hi Chris. Great site you have here. Can a summer weekend be used as a front or back bookend to the 30 days of summer possession? In other words, normal weekend starts Friday at 6:00p and ends on Sunday at 6:00p and then I start summer possession for 30 days on that Sunday at 6:00p. Or even start it on Saturday at 6:00p if I run into the 7-day start of school constraint. Thanks in advance.

  8. Deanna December 8, 2017 at 11:32 am #


    I recently signed a decree, I do not feel I had proper counsel. Anyway, I questioned the summer visitation. The father has a set time during the summer July 1-15 and Aug 1-15. Then the decree said he would get his 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends. Does the non custodial parent still get weekends during the summer plus his 30 days?

    Thank you in Advance

  9. Chris Schmiedeke December 8, 2017 at 11:56 am #

    It is impossible for me to tell what your order lays out without seeing it. In a standard possession order, the custodial parent gets all times not given to the non-custodial parent during the summer. In addition, they can “steal” a weekend inside the non-custoials extended thirty days and one weekend outside the thirty days, with proper notice.

  10. Chris Schmiedeke December 8, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    I suppose you can do that if you designate your thirty days.

  11. Matt Torres January 17, 2018 at 11:36 pm #

    Hi i have Standard visitation rights to see my 2 year old daughter. lets say i do or dont get give her the written notice that says im taking my daughter July 1st to July 31st. Can i still see her 1st , 3rd , 5th weekends in June and August?

  12. darla February 14, 2018 at 10:54 am #

    So if I have standard extended visitation, and am the visiting parent.(Texas) What would be the best scenario for me to get the most time for my summer visit? School ends on June 5, 2018. I lose my Thursdays during summer months (which makes no sense to me) and I want to maximize the days I can spend with my son to make up for the lost Thursdays and Sunday overnights. During summer months I get him on Friday at 6pm until Sunday at 6pm.

    I cant figure out the way to get the most time by splitting it up in 2 visits of at least 7 consecutive days or is it smarter to just do the entire 30 days of July? HELP

  13. Jacob Brown February 19, 2018 at 12:19 pm #

    Does the non custodial parent HAVE to have the kids during the summer? I can not afford child care for the kids and have to work during the summer. Can I decline my right to have them for the summer and just stick with the 1st,, 3rd, and 5th weekends?

  14. Jessi March 1, 2018 at 8:38 pm #

    Hi- I’m the custodial parent, in November court ordered a standard possession order (mileage apart is over 500 miles). Dad has one weekend of the month of his choosing. He did not exercise his Christmas holiday, nor has he seen him once a month since then. Maybe calls once per month. My question now becomes if he then decides he wants him for 42 days in summer is it in the best interest of the child to let him go? He’s 5 years old and hasn’t ever spent more than a week with him. (Also, dad has never been in household kid has not grown up around him)

    Appreciate your insight!

  15. Laura Diaz March 13, 2018 at 7:40 am #

    Can my husband get his daughter the first weekend of the month and then still start his first 15 days that Sunday? Our order allows my husband to have to separate possessions. So we wanted the first two weeks of each month June and July but those weekends are also his.

  16. Tara March 21, 2018 at 7:32 am #

    I am a single mother of three children. I work a full time job as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the state of Texas. We have standard visitation since my ex and I could not agree on what was best for the kids. My ex only gets them one day during the week for a couple of hours and every other weekend. He never takes them during spring break or the summer, or any additional days during the year unless I’m out of town for work. I receive 900 a month for three kids. He lives with his mom who has no house or care payment, and supposedly pays half of her bills.

    I pay for child care 100% which is $165 a week for our youngest. I pay all sporting expenses, I pay for all birthday expenses, vacation expenses etc.. All he pays is the standard child support. Since he gets them less than standard amount during the year, would he be required to pay more child support?

    Is he responsible for child care during his court ordered times (every other spring break, 30 days in the summer) even if he refuses to get them?

    What are the non custodial parent’s rights towards child care expenses?

  17. Tim Land March 22, 2018 at 9:45 pm #

    I’m in Texas and if my ex will not give me her mailing address so that I can send my summer dates what should I do? She lives in apartments and I’m not sure if she gets her mail there !

  18. Alba March 27, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

    If I send the custodial parent the letter by April 1st. My question is if I still get the 1,3&5th weekend from Friday at 6pm -Sunday at 6pm and the days I picked fall on a Thursday before or Monday after does that mean I would have to request Friday or Sunday as part of the 30days vs the weekend that already belongs to me. Due to the time of return

    And does he get to pick one of my weekends if I divide my 30days in 2week periods.

  19. Mark April 2, 2018 at 10:31 am #

    We have submitted our summer calendar without issue this year, which has been a relief. I do have one question regarding the end of summer in regards to visitation. My kid’s school year starts back up on Wednesday, August 15. Our agreement has the kids staying with me every Tuesday night during the year. Since no summer visitation can be requested within 7 days before school is back in session, does this mean that the standard possession order is back in play? Should I be able to have my kids on that Tuesday night, August 14, or is it still considered summer possession? I just want to make sure I am clear.

  20. Kim April 14, 2018 at 7:18 am #

    Where does the custodial parent pick children up for their stolen weekend in the summer? The Decree only says pick up kids from “name of dad”. If Dad is in middle of his vacation camping in another state doesmom have to pick up from that location? In contrast dads visitation location is spelled out during regular school year.

  21. A'Ric DeShay-Scott May 4, 2018 at 3:29 pm #

    If I allegedly declined the custodial parent of the notice she sent to me saying that I get certain days for the summer does that give relinquish me of my time I get with my son. I have standard visitation.

    Please help.

  22. mandy May 25, 2018 at 8:03 am #

    Divorce was filed on April 2. Standard order possession was granted on May 23. The non custodial parent utilizing the defaulted July visitation. The custodial parent is trying to exercise the weekend they would get In July but the non custodial parent says no because there was no notice by the 15th. How does it work in this case? How would the custodial parent know to do that if there was no standard order of possession? How can they lose something they didn’t even know they had the right to? How do they get that weekend when orders are established after those deadlines?

  23. Tiffany May 31, 2018 at 8:35 pm #

    I feel dumb asking but I just don’t know. I have June and my ex has July. I know that I hand over my child July 1 until the 31st. That leaves me asking in June since it’s my month does my ex still get his 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends? I mean that leaves me with basically 2 weeks where I have my son for the weekend.

  24. Chris Schmiedeke June 13, 2018 at 8:51 am #

    I can’t answer that without seeing your decree. In a standard possession order, the non custodial parent still gets the 1st 3rd and 5th weekends during the summer in addition to their extended summer possession.

  25. Chris Schmiedeke June 13, 2018 at 8:53 am #

    Not understanding your question.

  26. Chris Schmiedeke June 13, 2018 at 8:54 am #

    That should probably have been addressed before entering the order.

  27. Chris Schmiedeke June 13, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    Email, hand delivery?

  28. Ashley Hodge June 21, 2018 at 7:17 pm #

    Can the non costodial parent keep the the kids all summer even if he is not paying child support? My ex husband picked up my kids Friday, 15th after promising he would bring them back Friday, the 22nd. He just now text me that he will not let me have them back til his 48 days are up. This is his first time ever getting them for summer break in 5 years!!!

  29. Ruth June 25, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    If non custodial has eowe visits, does that continue into the summer with the added 1 month of July or do the visits change to eow?

  30. Brianna June 28, 2018 at 11:53 am #

    My husband has joint custody with an ex who is out of state. It was not “awarded” to her. He agreed by her begging and promising he would see his child more if he let her move back to her home state. She would make sure of it. So he reluctantly agreed. He didn’t want to control her and she was miserable in our state. She says she wants to “co-parent” well and doesn’t want my husband to send written notices. She wants to just discuss plans. Our experience is (obviously our opinion) is that co-parenting well to her is what is convenient for her, and what is convenient for her is in the best interest of the child according to her, and if my husband does not agree, he is being difficult. My husband writes notices of every visitation, making sure they arrive 30 days or more before. And rarely do we meet at the time and place that was written. Something always comes up or she is somewhere in our state closer to where we live and tells my husband it is a favor to him even though he planned for the drop off and pick-up that was written in the notice . Then his ex always wants a favor because she did one for him. She is constantly saying she does things for my ex even though he NEVER asks for anything outside of the decree. She didn’t give her notice of her weekend this year within my ex’s summer possession. Then, 4 days after getting the child for summer possession (exchange was bizarre situation created by his ex, in our opinion, and for another story), she wants to take the child to lunch. We feel she is out of state, my husband needs to establish a routine without interruption and she is acting like my husband is unreasonable. Then she throws it in his face she didn’t take a weekend during his possession and that she was close to us for drop off (which she did on her own, and which created the bizarre exchange) and he won’t even let her go to lunch with the child. Are we being unreasonable? She also Face Times the child every day, which we make the child available. (My ex does not Face Time his child because she never makes him sit still and lets him run around with his cousins so he’s just running around with the phone and won’t pay attention to my ex). One Face Time she told the child she will not be happy until he is back “home”, then the child wanted to go “home” for the next 20 minutes and then was fine until the next Face Time the next day. When available, she has her boyfriend’s kids there or the child’s cousins there while she Face Times so he misses them and then wants to go home. Then yesterday she showed him a new pool on Face Time, which made him want to go “home.” The child never asks to go back to his mom until after or during the Face Time calls. Are we being unreasonable by feeling she is playing games or does it sound like she is trying to get the child to go back to her or make the dad look like the “bad guy”? When she does these things, the child asks her to pick him up. Instead of saying no, you need to spend time with your daddy, she tells him she would love to but he needs to ask his daddy. We personally don’t think that is right and she should encourage his time with his dad. She is obviously angry my ex puts all visit notifications in writing since she just wants to talk about it but we don’t trust her. It would be he said, she said if there is an issue later. When he did that before, she always would tell my ex “you must have misunderstood,” or “you forgot.” and then insist on doing things her way. Now it’s in writing and she cannot do that. She is also mad that he wouldn’t let her have the child for lunch four days after my ex received possession (she hung out in our state for a week after exchange). We feel it is to interrupt the possession and insert herself. Please, tell us if we are wrong and we will try to wrap our heads around it and try to be more accommodating, or should we worry she is trying to insert herself too much in how things are done when my ex has him? (I just thought of another things she did. She Face Timed while we were at the beach. She saw he didn’t have a life jacket on, she kept telling the child to put it on, and the child said Daddy said I didn’t have to wear it, and she said, well mommy said you do. We are both good swimmers and only let him in the water when we were with him, not just watch him from the beach… child is 6). All my husband wants her to do is follow the rules of the decree and asked her to do so several times. All of my husband’s notices to his ex fit all requirements of the decree. We cannot understand why she cannot plan for it like we do and just do it that way. Please, let us know if we are wrong and unreasonable and we should change or are we doing the right thing just having my ex put all visitation notices in writing and trying to enforce them the way they are written?

  31. Rob Ocanas July 4, 2018 at 11:09 am #

    My question is does the father get the one months child support for the month he has the child. Since the mother does not have the child for that month?

  32. NAYELY GONZALEZ July 6, 2018 at 8:15 pm #

    I am a teen mom. My babys dad took me to court for not letting him see my baby and i signed the agreement without reading it. I was screwed because i didnt have proper councel and i was scared. Fast fowrward 3 years ish and my baby is now 3. This is the first summer his dad takes him for the entire month of july. In the agreement it all goes based on school dates, does that mean i have to follow it still even if my baby is not in school? Also, i know he takes him for the month of july, but do i not get to see him at all during that month? My baby has never gone that long without me and i know for a fact he will cry for me (he does so even on shorter weekends with dad). Does that not matter? He is only 3 for gods sake. If i want to change this agreement, do i need lawyer to go to the court and request an update to the agreement?

    Thanks! And sorry for all the questions

  33. Conner coleman July 11, 2018 at 4:33 pm #

    Question . I have my daughter (age 16 mos) right now for a 2 week “visit”. I did get her the 1, 3 and 5th weekends in June and will get her in August for my weekends . My question – before anything is finalized in the courts in August, may I ask for the 30 days visitation in July (unless he mom asks for a specific time by next April 1st). I signed the temp papers agreeing to 2 weeks but I seem to be learning that I should have 30 days as well as my weekends in June and August.
    Could you shed any light on that ? Thank you .

  34. christina July 15, 2018 at 1:53 pm #

    Help!!! I cannot find my question addressed anywhere! My 6 year old son is with his father right now for the extended summer visitation from july 1st to july 31st. He refuses to let me talk to my son on the phone at all this entire month. Is this legal? I thought I could talk to him once a week for this extended visitation . I’m in Texas

  35. Kathryn Cleveland August 9, 2018 at 10:24 am #

    Under the standard possession order, the NCP announced in May to the CP that she was choosing only two weeks for extended summer possession (just the first two weeks in July), so the CP did not choose a weekend during July for him to get the children. Then the NCP waited until June 6th so change her mind and say she wanted the children the entire month of July. The CP said okay, but I want one of those weekends as the order says I may. But the NCP refused to relinquish the children, saying that the CP has missed his deadline to choose which weekend. Mind you, the CP only missed the deadline due to the NCP waiting until after that deadline had passed to claim she wanted the children for the entire month of July instead of only two weeks as she originally said. Is this noncompliance with the order?

  36. Robert Cleveland August 9, 2018 at 10:33 am #

    My daughter’s birthday falls during her mother’s extended summer vacation. I am the CP and had expected that I would be allowed to pick my daughter up at my ex-wife’s residence and return her to the residence on her birthday as the order states that I may, but my ex-wife took her out of town and told me I could come pick my daughter up and return her to the resort where they were vacationing (an 8 hour drive one way)…stating that for that day, that resort would be her “residence”. Is this noncompliance with the order?

  37. B gibbons April 13, 2019 at 3:23 pm #

    If I as the non-custodial parent did not receive The Standard Possession Order until April 9th when it was created then can I still give written for the summer as if it was April 1st?

  38. Gloria Navarro August 3, 2019 at 4:32 pm #

    I am the primary custodial parent of my two young boys. This is their first summer spending it with their father. We reside in San Antonio Tx and their father in Killeen Tx over a 100 miles away. Their summer visitation is June 24-Aug 4. Pick up and exchanges have always been done here in San Antonio. Dad is now telling me that I have to travel to Killeen to pick up the boys. Is this true? My understanding has always been that we do it here. The only time I was obligated to pick up at his residence was when I had my two summer weekend visitation with my children.

    Is it his responsibility to bring the boys back home?

  39. Chris Schmiedeke September 6, 2019 at 10:35 am #

    Review your order. It should state exactly who picks up where and when. If it doesn’t you need to modify your order. Talk to a local attorney.

  40. Will March 22, 2020 at 10:55 am #

    With standard possession order and living over 100miles, if I split the summer visitation to 14 days in June and 28 in july/august, does NCP still get to exercise the right to choose a weekend visitation if it is outside of the summer visitation and any other weekend already included (fathers day)

  41. Joseph Beshears May 20, 2020 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi, my ex and I recently got switched to an SPO. I AM THE NON CUSTODIAL. For my extended summer possession I chose July. I see where she can pick a weekend during my 30 days and a weekend not in July, so does that mean that my 1st 3rd and 5th still applys for June and August?

  42. Chris Schmiedeke July 20, 2020 at 10:52 am #

    Not sure as I cannot see your order. You can check out my articles on my new website for further information.

  43. SUZANNE B. ZIMMERMAN March 15, 2021 at 10:04 am #

    If father chooses to break up his 30 day visitation into two parts and the first part encompasses his Father’s Day weekend, do those 2 days for Father’s Day weekend count as part of his 30 days since it’s in the middle of the first period of his visitation, or are those two days in addition to his 30 days?

  44. Chris Schmiedeke March 23, 2021 at 8:55 am #

    Suzanne, he just gets thirty days. Not thirty-two. Just like his summer weekend visits, if the thirty days overlaps his weekends, and Father’s day, then they are just lost.

  45. Chris Schmiedeke March 23, 2021 at 8:55 am #

    Suzanne, he just gets thirty days. Not thirty-two. Just like his summer weekend visits, if the thirty days overlap his weekends, and Father’s day, then they are just lost.

  46. James March 28, 2021 at 10:09 pm #

    Non-Custodial parent gave me written notice of desired extended summer possession dates prior to April 1st of the year.

    However, the dates requested are invalid. The requested dates is 50 days (8 more than the specified 42 days in custody order) and the return date is only 2 days before the school year starts (not 7 days prior to school year starting as specified in custody order).

    Because these requested dates are invalid for the two reasons mentioned above, if the non-custodial parent does not give a valid request by April 1st of this year, is it safe for me to let them know that we will be going by the default dates specified in the Custody Order since they did not provide me with a valid request prior to April 1st?

  47. Chris Schmiedeke March 29, 2021 at 9:54 am #

    I think your best bet is to notify them (prior to April 1) and let them know their error. Give them a chance to fix it and kindly advise them that if they do not fix it that it is an invalid request and will default to the default times. Contact the attorney that helped you with your order, or get in touch with a local attorney to get their opinion on how to handle the situation as well. They will have more information and will be able to give you a more definite answer after reviewing your order.

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