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.