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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451 Responses to summer visitation in Texas

  1. Katrina March 14, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    My question is this. If my boyfriend has possession of his son according to the papers from the day school gets out for spring break until the Sunday before school resumes (or any possession time of his for that matter) can he for any reason whatsoever tell his ex that he needs her to take him for a day, does he still have the right to take him back within his possession time? Or can she refuse to give him back?

    From what I’ve read and heard from friends dealing with the same issues, he has the right to do this but she seems to think he can’t do it and she can keep his son from him. Could we get her to be held in contempt if she keeps his son from him?

    Any insight on this would help cuz I’m trying to learn as much as I can because I care not only about my boyfriend but also his son and what’s in the best interest for him since my boyfriend should be the one that has custody of his son but can’t afford to fight for him at this time and it’ll be another 10 years before his son can choose to come live with us.

  2. Chris Schmiedeke March 23, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    He will be responsible for daycare for the child when the child is in his possession. If that is the mother, and the mother agrees to that, then he would get the child back as the mother was only providing daycare.

  3. chris March 30, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    My question is about the “30” days. The order states that I get 30 but is really only 28 after a weekend is taken out. Do you get to add on those two days to fulfill your “30” days? Also, I was told that the reason for allowing a weekend to be taken was for the purpose of allowing the child to not have to go such a long period of time away from the CP. If the NCP parent breaks the 30 days up, do they still get to take that weekend away…and why?

  4. Macie Gonzalez April 4, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    My husband has given notice to the custodial parent regarding extended summer possession. We had designated 2 separate periods of possession. Is she (custodial) parent, still allowed a weekend visit, even though we won’t have his children for 30 consecutive days?

  5. Joanna April 8, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    Can you please tell me what all needs to be in the letter to the ncp? He has extended time so he gets her Thursday at 12 until Monday at 9 when it’s his weekends and Thursday at 12 until Friday at 9 when it’s not his weekends. Does that mean I get to pick 2 designated weekends that I want her?

  6. tammy April 13, 2015 at 9:58 am #


    NCP did not give written notice by April 1. I understand if I give NCP written notice by April 15 I shall have possession of the child on any one weekend beginning at 6:00 p.m Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m on the following Sunday. The next paragraph I don’t really understand:

    If CP gives_NCP written notice by April 15 of each year or gives _NCP__ thirty days written notice on or after April 16 of each year, ___CP__ MAY DESIGNATE TWENTY-ONE DAYS beginning no earlier than the day the child’s school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ending no later than seven days prior to school resuming at the end of summer vacation, to be exercised in no more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each, during witch _NCP___ shall not have possession of the child, provided that the period or periods so designated do not interfere with _NCP__ period or periods of extended summer possession or with Father’s Day if ___ is the father of the child.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  7. Cristal April 16, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    I’m kind of confused about the summer visitation. He has chooses to receive his 30 days starting June 4th, I forgot to give him a notice by April 15 for a weekend visitation do I still have a chance to ask for a weekend by April 16 or 15 days before.

  8. Peter April 22, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m the NCP. What happens in the case when the end of the default summer possession (7/1-7/31) ends on a Friday, as in 2015? That would normally be a fifth weekend but I know that first, third and fifth weekends can be “trumped” by special occasions such as Christmas. I’m assuming that “ending at 6p on 7/31” is one of those. So what happens to Saturday and Sunday, 8/1-2? If it’s not a fifth weekend because Friday 7/31 is the end of my summer visitation (and not a first weekend because that’s not until Friday 8/7), is it a “free” weekend for the CP?

  9. Chris Schmiedeke April 22, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    I cannot say without looking at your order. However, if a person’s summer possession ends on Friday the 31st at 6:00 p.m. and their weekend possessions begin at 6:00 p.m. on Fridays, then they would keep the child through Sunday at 6:00 p.m. (assuming that is when their weekend possessions end).

  10. Chris Schmiedeke April 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    In a standard possession order there are two weekends that you can pick in the summer. One is INSIDE the other parent’s thirty days of extended summer possession, provided that notice is given for that weekend prior to the 15th of April. The other weekend that a parent can choose is OUTSIDE the thirty days of extended summer possession, provided notice is given at least 14 days prior to that weekend.

    I have not seen your order, so I cannot comment on what your order states. But the above is standard in a Texas Standard Possession Order.

  11. Chris Schmiedeke April 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    I am not sure what you are referring to. Do you live further than 100 miles apart? If so, a standard possession order typically gives the parent with custody the right to pick some dates for a vacation. I think that is what you are referring to. The custodial can pick the dates they want so long as they do not conflict with Father’s day or the other parent’s extended summer possession.

  12. Chris Schmiedeke April 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    I have no idea what you are referring to.

  13. Chris Schmiedeke April 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm #


  14. Chris Schmiedeke April 22, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    It is thirty days subject to the other parent’s weekend, assuming they give you notice. There is no makeup. However, if you are crafty about it, you can have your extended summer possession end at 6:00 p.m. on a Friday that is also your standard weekend possession. That extends the possession by two consecutive nights.

    For instance, this year, the 31st of July (default July 1 – 31) ends on a fifth Friday. That means the standard fifth Friday of the month weekend gets tacked onto the end of the extended summer possession.

  15. Melissa April 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    Does emailing the custodial parent by April 1st count as “written notice” and when you live more than 100 miles away, can you be denied visitation due to the recommendation of summer school?

  16. Leslie Pennington May 3, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    I am the custodial parent. The father purchased a new home in Jan. and already claimed it as his primary residence to get the 42 day extended day visit claiming to live over 100 miles apart. However he and his family still live here and work here during the week, attend ballgames each week and are even waiting until their new baby is born here in June to actually move. Is this a true definition of residency? Is he allowed to take these extra 12 days from me?

  17. sherrell May 19, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    My lawyer did not inform me that we have a visitation outside of the one we get during the summer…They told me we got oone weekend visit and that was it…. so can i still exercise this?. Also, we can pick ANY weekend? for example if the NCP chooses his sumer visit to be starting at June 5th through july 5th can i pick the weekend July 3rd – july 5th?.

  18. Dawn U May 26, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    My ex and I are under a extended standard possession, he is the non-custodial parent and has elected to have his 30 days in the summer cleverly in 2 sessions, first session – June 2nd thru June 17th and the second from July 7th thru July 30th. It hurts me greatly the “Standard schedule” because my kids get out of school on May 29th and return August 10th, which gives him more time in the summer with them than I do….sorry that has nothing to do with my question, I will be working to modify the order, we are only under a temporary order anyways.

    My actual question is, when we are outside of his extended summer possession, on his SPO 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends – what time does he return the kids to me on Sundays? 6pm?

  19. Duane June 1, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    I have temp joint custody where i get my daughter sun 6pm until monday (school) during summer monday until 2:30pm. Again pick up Tue 230pm until wed 230pm thurs 230pm until fri 230pm. None on sat i work a 12hr shift, then again I pick up Sun 6pm and so on. The temp court order says i get her every tue/thurs/sun as stated above but she is the one getting CS at 325.00 biweekly. We are now going thru a modification in which i to her to court for. What else can I do to at least stop the CS until the summer is over or until my case is over?

  20. Chris Schmiedeke June 3, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    He returns them whenever the Court order says he does. It should all be listed in your Court order. On the summers, in a standard possession order, a person gets to take one of the weekends out of the non-custodial extended summer possession schedule and another weekend outside of their extended summer possession.

  21. Chris Schmiedeke June 3, 2015 at 8:13 am #

    I am not sure what you are referring to with regard to the summer. Review your order. All the visits you are entitled to are laid out in it.

  22. Christine g June 4, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    My ex is supposed to get them for 30 days in july he says he can’t do 30 all at one time. He wants to get them every weekend starting in June and thru July. Is he in contempt of court for not doing the 30 days in july?

  23. Ashley June 5, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    My order states that due to him missing the April 15th deadline, he gets to have our daughter from June 15-July27. It uses the words forty-two consecutive days. Is he obligated to keep her the entire time, or can he choose when he wants to get her and for how long?

  24. Susie June 6, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    I am the primary but my question is about June. There are only 3 weeks left in june after schools out for me to spend time with my kids. Does he get normal visitation in june ? He automatically gets father’s day so I only get one weekend to take my kids anywhere for summer break?

  25. Andre June 6, 2015 at 11:52 pm #


    I am just realizing that the “default July 1st-July 31st paragraph is missing from my SPO. It only states what happens if I provide written notice by April 1 and if she provides written notice to me by April 1 or April 16 or in 14 days after April 16. My ex and me have mutually agreed for the last four years but we are not able to agree anymore. She is under the impression through her lawyers that because the paragraph is not in our order that I get no extended summer possession because I did not provided her written notice by April 1. She also, for some reason, thinks that she gets an uninterrupted extended 30 day summer possession. I tried to explain to her that she only gets one of my weekends that is not within my extended summer possession which should be July 1st – July 31st by default. The SPO statutes do not address when an SPO is not fully complete but signed by a judge that the SPO fully complies with the SPO statutes. Your thoughts?

  26. Brandi June 7, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    According to our divorce decree my ex should get the kids for 30 days during the summer. This year my ex only wants to get the kids on the weekends during his designated 30 day time period. Can he legally only get them on the weekends? I feel that he should get them for the full 30 days set in the divorce decree or not at all.

  27. Lade June 9, 2015 at 9:25 am #


    What happens to Thursdays during summer time, does NCP not get the kids on Thursdays during summer, according to Texas Extended Standard Possession Order?
    If I read divorce decree correctly it seems that way…

  28. Jennifer June 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    What if your order is between you, the father, and the grandmother (fathers mom). The grandmother has custody and in our order it says “Summer visitation as mutually agreed upon”. Well what if we never come to an agreement? Does it automatically go in the Standard Summer Visitation rules? Also, for summer vacation, do we need to give the custodial parent all our itinerary information or do we just have to let them know where we’re going?

  29. Hillary June 15, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    I have a question about if the non-custodial parent does not show up for pick up. If the non-custodial parent doesn’t follow orders on date of pick up then does the visitation become forfeit?

  30. Asia Richey June 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Our orders go into effect July 1st. NCP has stated he cannot take them for the whole month. How would visitation work then?

  31. Kari j June 17, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    Soooo my question is, if non custodial parent is the one who pays child support all year long when the child is living with custodial why does the custodial parent not have to pay child support while child is living with non custodial for an entire month? Or why does child support have to be paid that month when the child isn’t even living with the parent receiving child support?

  32. Rosio June 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    When will the standard order be modified (if ever), considering Summer vacations for children now go through August? It just isn’t fair for the NCP with being able to spend time with their children, when the CP can come in and is allowed 2 bites at the apple to interfere with the NCP’s time. It’s just truly unfair for those NCP’s that actually do care to participate in their children’s lives and would enjoy more time with them. All I am saying is that there are NCPs that should be allowed more days with their children considering the CP has them every other day of the year. The 1st, 3rd, 5th weekends, summer, Christmas, Thanksgiving & Spring break visitations just DO NOT compare to the amount of time a CP receives. No matter what your differences are or why you all split, the children having a relationship with their parents should be the primary focus. Again I am only speaking with regarding to those parents that have split just do to irreconcilable differences, nothing that involves abuse or parents that would harm the children.

    Dawn U – I am very interested in knowing how your NCP gets away with having 40 days vs. the allowed 30 days (unless he lives more than 100 miles away).

  33. Lily June 24, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

    Chris, while I understand in a standard possession order there are two weekends that you can pick in the summer. One is INSIDE the other parent’s thirty days of extended summer possession and the other weekend is OUTSIDE the thirty days of extended summer possession. Does that mean I get two weekends or one or the other?

  34. Cristal June 28, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

    Are the non custodial parent suppose to notify custodial parent when the child is taken to hopital. I have a standard visitation right order of Texas.

  35. Erika L June 29, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    If the ncp will be working 90% of the time (time my child could be spending with me instead of a babysitter) am I still obligated to let him take my son for those 30 days?

  36. Bruce A July 6, 2015 at 6:22 am #

    Chris –

    Thanks for the blog and FAQ’s. Good info. I am still unclear about three broad areas:

    1) Standard Possession for Thursday is 6 to 8 PM. I cannot find any statute or ruling that turns it into
    what you state is an “extended weekend” from end of school Thursday to the following Monday when school reopens.

    2) Extended Summer with Notice by NCP. Are you stating that with Notice, the NCP can have the entire Summer
    in alternate years except for one weekend – provided the CP gives Notice for that?

    3) Likewise, I cannot find a definition of “Possession”. The NCP is intending on just taking our 11 year-old to a daycare in the morning, going to work and “doing” her single life, and merely picking him up at some time in the late evening…with no parent interaction. Is that stil possession and how is that in the best interest of the child?

    Thank you.

  37. laura July 9, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    My daughter gave notice for her 2 days on the 15th of April around 11 pm, she just received paperwork explaining all ins and outs of visitation on the 6th of April it took awhile to figure it all out. Was she too late?

  38. Angela July 13, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    Long story short: NCP and I had verbal agreement in May that he would get our child starting on June 21 (Fathers Day) for his summer possession. I, as the CP, did not designate a weekend since we had agreed I’d get our child back on July 24th. As of July 24 he will have had our child a consecutive 34 days (32 giving his Fathers Day weekend). We are leaving for a long weekend vacation on July 24th and the NCP is demanding that July is his month and that we bring our child back to him as soon as we return from vacation. Since the Standard Possession Order states 30 days possession for him am I legally obligated to allow him the additional week or do I have legal grounds to refuse? Thank you

  39. Valencia July 15, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    Does the NCP have to agree with the dates you pick for your summer weekend dates outside of his extended summer?

  40. Carol July 18, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Can you modify a SnapBack weekend date? I notified my ex husband that I would take back a weekend but inadvertently put a weekend that I already have, can I change the date giving him 14 days notice?

  41. CD July 19, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

    In Texas, standard possession order, living within 100 miles of each other -who pays for daycare during the summer month of July 1-31. The standard order does not clearly line this out. The child support did not take day care in to consideration when being calculated.
    And if it’s the NCP, if that parent uses the childcare for the entire month but does not pay, what is the CP supposed to do?
    Thank you!

  42. Andrea Espinoza July 28, 2015 at 9:38 am #

    My ex and I have been following the court order to some extent. We basically do the arrangements with what works for our schedule and summer vacation. We have never given written notice foe a request. It has been like this for 10 Yrs. I also have not been taking advantage of obtaining my weekend during his summer month… I have been letting him take her for the full 30 days. Now that she is 11yrs old, I want to have my weekend and she wants to come over a weekend as well. Notice of his summer vacation has never been in April, he gives me the verbal request in June. He has her from July 18/Aug 18… When I told him I wanted a weekend that I am entitled to, he said I’m not allowed a weekend and I didn’t follow court order. So I told him he hasn’t been following court order for years, we both have been working with each other to accommodate our personal schedule. So technically if he wants to all of a sudden follow court order, can I tell him that I need my daughter back on July 31st since he did not give me written notice by April 1st..? he was He wishes not to give me a weekend because I did not give him written notice,. It seems unfair that we’ve been agreeing with a verbal request and now that I want a weekend, he does not allow it. What can I do? Does he still get her for the full 30 days cz we verbally agreed, and shouldn’t he verbally agree to a weekend? I gave him the option to give me a weekend or return her to me by July 31st.. He hasn’t responded. It’s the Texas standard summer visitation.

  43. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    Andrea, you need to seek out an attorney in your area to help you. In general, if you cannot reach agreements, you follow the Court order. If you have agreements, they should be in writing. It sounds as if you have an agreement that may be in writing. That is the ultimate question.

    I cannot advise you specifically on your case as I do not know the factual background of everything, however, an attorney in your area should be able to help you out. Pick up the phone and schedule a consult. It would be worth your time.

  44. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    The noncustodial parent would be responsible for any daycare, etc… during their extended summer possession. Speak to an attorney in your area to confirm this. They would know the local courts the best and how they rule on such things.

  45. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 11:05 am #


  46. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    You need to speak to an attorney in your area. Without seeing your order it is hard to tell what each party should do. The lesson I can offer you is that you need to get everything in writing anytime that you reach “agreements”.

  47. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 11:12 am #

    Bruce, you need to speak to an attorney about these issues in your area. Under a standard possession order, at the time the order is entered, an “election” can be made by the NCP for the extended times. If that election is not made, the only way to add it would be to file a modification.

    On 2 and 3 I am not sure what you are referring to.

  48. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    That time belongs to the NCP. How they choose to use their time is up to them. If you do not like that arrangement, you could contact an attorney in your area and ask them to add a first right of refusal so that you could have the child as opposed to a babysitter or daycare.

  49. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    Review your order. If there is a requirement it would be listed in the order.

  50. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 11:14 am #


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