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. S.Garza April 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    I am non custodial parent I have the SPO and live in Texas. I gave written notification of my summer schedule for this year I divided the 30 days in 2 different periods, I understand I still have right to my weekends in summer so I chose June 17-July 3 and second period July 15-July 31. I didn’t receive notification before April 15 for a weekend visit during my summer schedule so if I understand correctly that visit is lost. Now if custodial parent notifies me within time she can choose one of my weekends in the summer is that correct? Thank you for your help.

  2. Dion April 18, 2016 at 12:45 am #

    After reviewing my papers more in detail, I’ve noticed that when it comes to my time of posession the paperwork contradicts itself. It states “On weekends that do not occur during the regular school term, beginning at 6pm the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Friday of each month and ending at 6pm on the following Sunday.” and then on the very next page states “Thursdays-On the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Thursday year-round, beginning at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed or 6pm and ending at the time the child’s school resumes on Monday or 9am.” Of course, I’m wanting to go by the Thursday year-round statement, but my ex is making an issue out of it and wants to go by the Friday-Sunday because it gives me less time with him. The second part of my question is relating to the Thursday statement again. If this is what I end up being able to go by, does that mean during the summer I could pick my son up at 3pm, which is the time school would have let out, or would I have to go by 6pm because school isn’t in session?

  3. Tiffany Stanford April 18, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

    We chose to exercise our summer visitation in two separate periods, 2 weeks in June and 2 weeks in July.
    The ex is coming back saying that she wants her summer weekend possession in June and she wants her extended weekend in July. That is basically give her 3 days out of my 14. Can she do this? Yes I did give her notice by April 1.

    To clarify she is telling she is getting them for one weekend of my first period of possession in June
    and she getting them for her extended summer possession the second period of possession in July.

  4. Tiffany Stanford April 18, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    If I split the 30 day summer possession into 2 separate visits (14 days in June and 14 days in July) does she still get her weekends?

  5. Texas April 20, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi Chris! I am the NCP and have mailed a letter notifying her of the dates I want to take the children for summer. She has been avoiding me and I know that she has received the letter but is probably planning to say she never received it and the children will not be able to come with me on the days I am planning to travel with them during summer and get them till July 1st. What can I do since its past the deadline April 1st? What proof is required to show her or the police (because I know she will call them) that I did send her a letter. Needing advice all the way from Texas!

  6. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Did you follow the requirements of the decree? Did you send the letter certified and first class mail? If not, in the future I suggest that you do. Remember that some day you may have to prove that you sent it. With certified you can track it. If a person does not proved the children for court ordered access, an enforcement can be filed. An enforcement can seek jail time, attorney fees, make up time and potentially expenses incurred in the missed visitation, travel expenses etc…

    I think your first step is to warn the other party that you may be seeking all of those if you have to go to court. Additionally you will find that the police do not get involved in these matters much. Good luck.

  7. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    You refer to “weekends”. Not sure what that means. There is a “weekend” that the custodial parent will get during the extended summer possession. Not sure if that is what you are referring to.

  8. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    There are two summer periods where the Custodial Parent gets to designate a weekend. One is inside the extended summer possession and one is outside the extended summer possession. Only one for each. No more. It sounds as if she is trying to use both those weekends, but use them both in your extended summer possession. If that is what you are saying, that cannot be done. The one outside the extended summer possession should specifically state, if you have a standard possession order, that it cannot conflict with the extended summer possession of the custodial parent.

    Did she notify by April 15th of the one inside the extended summer possession? That is a requirement under a standard possession order for that weekend. The other they can do on 14 days notice.

    Hope that helps.

  9. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    Your order is conflicting. There is no answer to your question until you resolve the conflict. Otherwise you are both right. Get a lawyer and fix your order. Or better yet, reach a written agreement.

  10. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    You are correct. The weekend she has available to her, which is outside your extended summer possession, requires 14 days notice. Good luck.

  11. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    If you agree to it that is fine. If you do not, you may end up in Court and you can explain your position to the Court. Sounds like a reasonable position to me. Contact an attorney if you think you may end up in court.

  12. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

    What does your order say? Follow the order.

  13. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    Sounds like the Court may need to weigh in on both issues. However, figure that “summer” starts the second that the final bell rings. Your possession normally would start immediately following that. Follow me? I cannot advise you one way or the other, just trying to help walk you through this.

    You may need to talk to a local attorney about the other issue and modify your order. Might as well bring this one up too. Good luck.

  14. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:30 pm #


  15. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    You can either agree to allow him to have possession when he asks or you can force him to follow the order. If he does not follow the order I suppose he would forfeit his visits. What is in the best interest of the child? That is the questions you need to answer.

  16. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    Does your decree say 90 miles? Your decree controls. Follow the decree.

  17. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    It really depends on what the notice says. I cannot see the notice. If it said they were exercising their extended summer possession from 6/3 to 6/19, then those dates overwrite any weekend possessions. My feeling is that all the days would count toward extended. However, if they carved out the weekends in the notice (which i am not sure how they would do) then i suppose it would be 12 days.

    As far as the notice, I do not know as i am not sure what you are referring to.

    Sounds like you may want to run this by a local attorney. Good luck.

  18. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    Rob, you will need to modify your order to something that you can abide by. That way she will not be able to hide behind the decree. Contact a local attorney (to where the court order is out of). Good luck.

  19. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    I don’t know. What does the order say? Do you have standard possession? Read the order. It controls.

  20. Chris Schmiedeke April 20, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

    She can, but under a standard possession order she is responsible for picking up and dropping off. I don’t know if you have a standard possession order or not. Read your order. That language will be in there if it is standard.

    She would have to come to where you are, pick up the child and return the child to you wherever you may be under a standard possession order.

  21. Rob April 22, 2016 at 10:16 pm #


    Thanks for your help here! A couple follow up questions, if you will:

    If I make a request to modify a custody arrangement, does this give her the opportunity to modify too, ie. some verbiage or financial arrangement? If yes, does the court appoint a mediator or how is it judged?

    2. As a non-custodial, if I am able to pick up children at Friday at 6pm, do I have to return them at Sunday at 6pm, this per my order -or- is there flexibility in returning them to custodial? I have been told that there is flexibility based on her consent, but don’t know if there would be future ramifications.

    I hope this blog makes you independently wealthy. That said, I live in the real world — so, thanks!!

  22. Mayra April 23, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    This is the first summer that my child will spend with his father. I didn’t realize that I had a deadline of April 15 to request a weekend while my child is in the possession of his father. I was wondering, if I speak to my sons father and request a weekend for the time my child will be with his father this summer, can I still have a weekend if his father agrees even if I missed the deadline of April 15th?

  23. Chris Schmiedeke April 26, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    Yes, if he agrees. Get the agreement in writing.

  24. Chris Schmiedeke April 26, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    If you file for a modification, the other side can counter sue for modification as well. The Court may send you to mediation. If it is a contested custody case, I think you may end up in mediation. If that fails, then you would go before the Court and the judge would decide.

    You can modify the visitation any way you like by agreement. I would suggest any agreements be in writing however. If no agreement, then the court order must be followed.

  25. Wonderingmom April 28, 2016 at 12:06 am #

    Question. We have standard Texas guideline custody… Dad has kids every Thursday -after school until 8 pm and then 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend. I am the custodial parent. He gave me his extended summer request. June 6- 27 and then July 4th thru July 11. I sent him my request June 28-July 3 (we will be out of town for child’s sport) then July 12-July 31st (we are going to see my family). I know he received this letter (certified mail and he acknowledged in an email)…. Just wanted to make sure this was right. I was confused by the I only get one weekend the entire summer?!? He didn’t “agree” to it but has yet to say anything about it. He did acknowledge he received my request… He won’t have Thursday during the summer due to the decree saying that is during school session. And my dates don’t interfere with his requested dates but do with the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend rule. So am I not allowed to take the kids that weekend?

  26. Chris Schmiedeke April 28, 2016 at 8:03 am #

    You get one weekend in the extended summer possession that he designated AND you get one of his 1st, 3rd an 5th weekends. That means Friday to Sunday. So in his designated time, you could pick the weekend of the 10th, 17th and 24th of June. Any of those dates would be Friday to Sunday. You could also select the 8th of July. Not sure how you came up with June 28 – July 3rd.

    For the time outside his extended summer possession, for the month of July his remaining weekends (since the first was encompassed in his extended summer possession) are the 15th and 29th. You can pick one of those. Sounds like the 15th would be the best. However, he would then be entitled to possession on the 29th.

    Hope that helps.

  27. Gizele Delvalle April 30, 2016 at 6:03 am #

    Question: I’m the custodial parent and dad and I have agreed on the dates he will exercise posession in the summer (from July 9th-Aug 5th). However, he’s stating for the first time this year that he’s not obligated to exercise posession the 1st and 3rd weekend of June.

    I do want him to use his right (he is very involved and I am actually surprised that he is refusing to see them for a month), but there’s nothing in the divorce decree that backs me (or him, as a matter of fact) up. However, I found under the GENERAL GUIDELINES this clause: “Inability to Exercise Possession -Each conservator is ORDERED to give notice to the conservator in posession of the children on each occasion that the conservator will be unable to exercise the right of possession for any specified period”. Can I use this guideline to notify him that I will be unable to exercise posession of the kids on the 1st and 3rd weekend of June? Is there another way to make him?

    Thank you!

  28. shannon May 6, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    I have a question. My ex husband wants to split his visit into two parts he just notified me of this on May 5th that he wants to change the dates of the summer visit to June 1st-JUne 24th and then August 1st-12th. Am I obligated to do this? Or can I strictly go by the standard order of possession which is what we always go by.

  29. Chris Schmiedeke May 11, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    Read your order. It will specifically say if he is allowed to do this. If you have a standard possession order, he can break it up into two parts. It is important that you read and understand your order so that you are not missing out on time as well. Schedule an appointment with an attorney to go over your order if you are confused.

  30. Chris Schmiedeke May 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Unfortunately you cannot force someone to exercise their possession short of modifying the order and taking time away from them if it continues. Good luck.

  31. Shara Dixon May 15, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

    I have a question amd concern. My exhusband has split his summer possession into two different times. He has started the first time on this second weekend of June. Normally in the summer he would have them on the 1st 3rd and 5th weekend regardless of his 4 weeks time. This summer he has chosen to take them to different times both times starting on the second weekend what would be my time with the children. That puts me at only having them in the month of June for 4 days at the end after school lets out and a few days at the end of July. I do not understand how he can have them all of the summer and I only have them for two weekends for the months of June and July.. Also the children are not being watched by him but by his girlfriend or sent to Kansas to be babysat by his mother. Is this a matter I can take to court since he is not wanting to compromise any. I am a school teacher and offered to keep the children in the daytime while he worked and said he could pick them up for the evenings if he would like but he would not agree to the suggestion. He did give me notice by the 1st of his dates that he wanted the children. Three of the days fell on days I had already booked and planned for the kids and my family to take a vacation. My exhusband emailed and said that I did not have his permission to go on vacation and since he was reguesting them then he would let the police know if I refused to give him the children. I didn’t want to cause any trouble and therefore canceled our vacation to Florida and was refunded our money back. I made sure when I scheduled for our vacation it would not be a 1,3rd or 5th weekend but now he is choosing to take nearly all the weekends for both months with the way he has set his schedule. It really bothers me since I am a school teacher that he sends to Kansas for a good portion that he asks for them and is not with them for most of the time he has requested.

  32. Tony rivera May 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    Chris, i have split my summer visitation into 2 periods. 2 weeks in June and 2 weeks in august. Does this mean in july I get my son just like normal visitation every other weekend? Also my ex wife pays daycare all year. She wants our son to go to daycare during my time of possession. Doi have to pay for daycare during my summer visitation?


  33. Tina May 23, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    Hi I have my daughter for the month of June. My question is does her dad still get her on the 1st 3rd and 5th weekend?

  34. renee May 24, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    As the custodial parent I selected a weekend from his extended summer possession and gave notice on March 31st. Yesterday I received an email stating they will be out of town the weekend I requested. Do I have any recourse?

  35. Chris Schmiedeke May 24, 2016 at 9:35 am #

    Yes, you always have recourse. It’s called Court. I don’t know what your orders state, but in general the non-custodial parent gets thirty days in the summer. Let’s say it is the default date of July 1 to July 31st. The custodial parent can pick a weekend inside that thirty days to exercise a weekend possession.

    The custodial parent is responsible for picking up and dropping off the child if they select a weekend. So that begs the question, what if the non-custodial parent is traveling with the child during that time? The simple answer is that the custodial parent must pick up the child wherever the child is at. However, if the non-custodial parent plans the trip after knowing about the weekend of the custodial parent, then there may be an issue that has to be addressed with the Court.

    Not sure where your fact scenario lies, but you may need to contact a local attorney and get something set before the court to enforce the visitation or clarify it. Good luck.

  36. Chris Schmiedeke May 24, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    Don’t know. Do you have a standard possession order? Are you the non-custodial or custodial parent? Is this the extended summer possession or just a regular summer month?

    I can tell you that weekends continue through the summer.

  37. Chris Schmiedeke May 24, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Weekend visits continue through the summer. Typically the parent in possession is responsible for daycare in the summer. Check your order and see what it says.

  38. Chris Schmiedeke May 24, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    I cannot comment because I am not sure what dates you are referring to specifically. I also do not know if you have a standard possession order. I think you are adding incorrectly though. I am looking at the calendar for June and I am not seeing any scenario by where you would only get them for 4 days.

    Additionally, I think you have learned you cannot make summer plans before April 1st. Once April 1st has come and gone, you can then designate the two weekends you will take (one inside his extended summer possession and one outside) and plan your vacation.

  39. samantha May 24, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    im a custodial parent of a 3 year old and live in Texas. I have the standard possession order . Does this mean I still have to let my 3 year old go with her dad for 30 days even though she is not in school yet ?

  40. Chris Schmiedeke May 24, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    What does your order say?

  41. Christina C. May 24, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    Hi Chris, I am the custodial parent of a 14 year old daughter. It is possible that she will need summer school, but the SPO states she can go with her dad (non-custodial parent) for 6 weeks because he lives out of state. The SPO doesn’t address situations such as needing summer school…is there a legal precedent for this? Thank you in advance!

  42. mom May 25, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

    I have a weird texas custody order but the summer schedule is the normal extended summer vacation under 100 miles. If he texted me AFTEr april 1st do I still have to give my son to his father during June or can I uphold the July 1st-30th since he didn’t give me a written notice BEFORE the 1st? And just another question. Does text message count for written notice?

  43. Momof2 May 25, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    I have regular extended summer visitation. If he failed to give a written notice by april 1st do I still have to give him my son in june or can I hold him until july? On a side note does a tect count as a written notice?

  44. Chris Schmiedeke May 26, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    Review your order as to what constitutes written notice and when it can be given. If it was met, then they get the dates they asked for. If not, then they would get July under the SPO. You would have to address the text issue with your judge to get their feeling about that. Maybe ask a local attorney.

  45. Chris Schmiedeke May 26, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    No. If your order does not work for whatever reason, you may need to have the court modify the order or clarify the provisions for the given summer. Contact a local attorney to help you.

  46. Jessica May 27, 2016 at 9:46 am #

    If I am to understand correctly I can give written notice to the NCP to take one of his weekends after his July visitation with a 14 day notice? So If I was to give it to him now I could request to have the weekend of August 19th-21st? We have the standard summer order, he has not given me any of his requests before April 15th and we live under 100 miles.

  47. Chris Schmiedeke May 27, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    I do not know the answer to that definitively as I am not looking at your order. However, under a standard possession order, a person can give notice to take a 1st, 3rd or 5th weekend of a NCP during the summer with at least 14 days notice. Read your order. Sometimes there are limits on how early you can take the weekend, or how late. It will sometimes limit it to after the first week they are out or before the last week they return to school.

    Bottom line, read your order and understand it. If you have questions, pay an attorney a $100 or whatever they charge to go over it with you.

  48. Michelle June 3, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    Texas- we have a SPO. For the last few years he’s has one child and I’ve had the other, usually we come to an agreement but not this time…
    He has always had them in June and each month the parent gets to pick a weekend during the other parents posession. this year we agreed I would have them in June. He already gets them on father’s day weekend, does he still choose another weekend other than father’s day or is father’s day his weekend for the month of June?

  49. Kristal Quintanilla June 4, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    Hi I have a 50/50 schedule (joint managing) that on the RULE 11 agrmt is suppose to follow expanded standard possession. It’s been a year and the final hearing is in August. We are still in temp orders, recently after a year of taking turns when it comes to holidays not stated in orders like Easter and Halloween, my ex (who had first turn last year) didn’t give me my turn and took me to court lied said we had no mutual agreement. I know I messed up to not put it in writing. Well I gave my vacation letter, filed it sent copy to other side requesting 30 days but didn’t realize I had to specify exactly what 30 days i wanted. Now my ex is stating I lost my 30 days and my one week because I didn’t specify. Is that true?

  50. Kristal Quintanilla June 4, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    In taking out the orders and having to carefully review them now I just realized that the temp orders differ from the RULE 11 agrmt, rule 11 states we agreed and signed to expanded standard possession but his attorney who was responsible for drafting the orders after hearing, drafted them as Standard possession schedule. When my attorney gave me the copy after reviewing it he never mentioned any discrepancies. So this whole time I have been under impression everything on order is exactly what’s on rule 11. What can I file against him so that orders can be redone and my side can be heard? I was stay at home mom when this seperation occurred had $0 to fall back on and cheap attorneys did nothing I never knew what was going on. How can I get this whole case of his which is based on lies to be looked at again now that I am financially ready somewhat?

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