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. Eve June 8, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    Hi Chris, I have a question about July 4th. I am the NCP and my ex-wife has yet to designate her weekend outside of the extended possession. Because of Father’s Day and school beginning again on 8/24, the only conceivable weekend left for her to pick is July 1-3 (has to be more than 7 days before, my extended is July 8-Aug 7). Because July 4 is a federal holiday, my weekend should normally start on Thursday evening and end on Monday at 6pm. If she picks that as her extended weekend, should she only be able to get 48 hours from Friday at 6pm until Sunday at 6pm? In this scenario, then I would have Thursday night and Sunday night? I know she has to notify me by June 17. The holiday is throwing me off, thanks!

  2. Chris Schmiedeke June 8, 2016 at 9:28 am #

    I am confused as to why you think your visit would start on Thursday for the 4th of July weekend. A standard possession order reads as follows:

    Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Standard Possession Order,
    if a weekend period of possession by NCP ends on or is immediately followed by 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.

    Per that provision in a standard possession order, for 4th of July it would be Friday at 6:00 p.m. until Monday at 6:00 p.m. I am assuming that your order is a standard possession order.

    As to mom’s time, under a typical standard possession order it would say:

    Extended Summer Possession by CP – CP gives NCP written notice by April 15 of a year or gives NCP fourteen days’ written notice on or after April 16 of a year, CP may designate one weekend beginning no earlier than the day after the child’s school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ending no later than seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation, during which an otherwise scheduled weekend period of possession by NCP shall not take place in that year, provided that the weekend so designated does not interfere with NCP’s period or periods of extended summer possession.

    Notice there is no time for pick up and drop off under this language in the standard possession order. This is in contrast to the “Summer Weekend Possession” period which allows the CP to select a weekend inside the extended summer possession of the NCP. Specifically it states 6:00 p.m. on Friday to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

    Point being, that absent specific language of pickup and drop off times, it is going to encompass your full weekend per the other provisions. Again, all of this is assuming you have a standard possession order. I cannot see your order, so read your order and confirm any language that I have quoted.

  3. Chris Schmiedeke June 8, 2016 at 9:30 am #

    Contact a local attorney and have them review the case.

  4. Chris Schmiedeke June 8, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    I am not following what orders you have and what the factual situation is. “For the last few years he’s has one child and I’ve had the other…” I don’t know what that means.

  5. Eve June 8, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

    Ok so she can take a 3 day weekend outside of a extended summer period… The Thursday language says “Thursdays – On Thursday of each week beginning at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed and ending at the time the child’s school resumes on Friday.” The weekend section has a paragraph for during the regular school term and a paragraph for weekends outside of the regular school term. The Thursdays can be interpreted either way I guess 🙁 Big surprise, she is interpreting no summer Thursdays and I am interpreting Thursdays all year. Since she is CP and won’t turn them over for visitation on Thursdays, I have to go back to court for this?

  6. Chris Schmiedeke June 9, 2016 at 8:54 am #

    The typical Thursday language, in a standard possession order, says something to the effect of “Thursdays, during the regular school term, from the time school is dismissed until return to school the following Friday.”

    The key language being “during the regular school term”. If that language is not in there, then the visits would continue all year long. That is not a standard possession order however.

  7. Crystal June 9, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    During the NCP’s summer time visit I as the CP have selected and give the proper notification that I would like the weekend of July 1st as one of my weekend visitations. Do I have to take her back that Sunday at 6pm or since July 4th is on a Monday can I keep her until July 4th at 6pm. I have standard possession orders and I am the sole managing conservator. There is a statement in my papers that speaks of undesignated periods of possession and I am not sure if this is what it pertains to.

  8. Chris June 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    Does the NCP get child on weekends? 1st, 3rd and 5th during summer for the months of June and August?

  9. Kris deluna June 9, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    What about June and August? Does NCP get children 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends of those months?

  10. Chris Schmiedeke June 10, 2016 at 6:10 am #

    Does your order designate when you pickup and return on the weekend that you choose inside the extended summer possession? If so, then those are your times.

  11. Chris Schmiedeke June 10, 2016 at 6:10 am #

    Yes. Look at my post about weekend possessions.

  12. Chris Schmiedeke June 10, 2016 at 6:10 am #

    Yes. Look at my post on weekend possessions.

  13. Delores Taylor June 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

    Wow! Thank you for this blog and the thorough explanations! I want to make sure I completely understand. My Ncp will have the month of July by default. I have given written notice before April 15 that I would like to exercise possession the weekend of July 15th. If I give the Ncp two weeks notice, I can also select August 5th which would be the Ncp’s weekend per standard order as my possession. All other summer possession periods in June and August follow the standard order. So, the Ncp would continue to have possession on 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends per standard order in June and August and have possession the entire month of July, EXCEPT the weekend of July 15th. Am I understanding correctly?

    Forgive me. I feel like I’m talking in circles, but just want to make sure I understand. Thanks again.

  14. Elena June 13, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    Hi Chris, I have a question about summer vacation with the NCP. My 13 year old son ask me that he does not want to go with his father for summer vacation, he stated why should he go if his father doesn’t see nor come for him during spring break or winter vacation, only when he’s good and able to visit (her lives 6 hours away). Yes, we have been to court, got our divorce finalized, as well as the custody & visitations order and child support documents. Only response I received from ncp was that he will call me a few days before when he will be on his way to pick up my son. Please help, need advice.

  15. Cierra Lopez June 13, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    Is a NCP allowed to take the child out of state during their July 1st -July 31st summer visitation? We’d like to take my stepdaughter to Florida July 1st and return July 4th for vacation. Would this be a problem if the custodial parent says no to our Florida beach vacation? Thank you

  16. Tony June 15, 2016 at 7:31 am #

    Outside of the 30 days summer, in the In June and August, does the visiting parent have the right to see the child 1st, 3rd, 5th weekend? or just 30 days in the summer and the rest the child will stay with the primary parent. Thanks!!!

  17. Chris Schmiedeke June 15, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    Not sure. Check your order. Does it say weekends are during the regular school term?

  18. Michelle June 17, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    I am the CP and the NCP will have our two children during the month of July. For TX, is there a geographic restriction for the NCP, or do they have to give notice if the child is going out of state? Also, since the ruling in our case was signed on 5/31/16, we are past the April deadline for notifying of a weekend. I notified the NCP of a weekend that id like to have the children, a full month in advance, and now he says that it should be about the weekend that is best for the kids and not what is best for me. What would be the best way to approach this? Thanks!

  19. Kaitlyn June 23, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    I was told by a lawyer that my husband still gets his weekends during the summer which are 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends and to extend summer possession time he could still have his weekends and add the 30 days to that. Is that true?

  20. Chris Schmiedeke June 23, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    I am not sure what your husband gets as I have not seen your order. However, under a standard possession order (under 100 miles) the noncustodial parent (NCP) gets thirty days in the summer and the standard 1st 3rd and 5th weekends. The way you can tell what is in your order is by the wording. For instance, Thursdays are “during the school term”. You will not find the same language regarding weekends under the standard possession order. That means that they continue outside the school term, or summer.

  21. Chris Schmiedeke June 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

    I don’t know what the restrictions are as I cannot see your order. Review your order, it controls. If there is no language regarding an issue, then there is no rule. The order controls. As to the weekend, again I am not sure what your order states. In a standard possession order, the custodial parent (CP) can select a weekend INSIDE the extended summer possession of the NCP if notice is given by April 15th. The CP can also select a weekend OUTSIDE the extended summer possession of the NCP with at least 14 days notice. The NCP does not get to decide whether they allow this designated weekend. It is court ordered.

  22. Chris Schmiedeke June 23, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    Does your order have any limits on where you can travel or notice required? The order controls. Follow your order. If it does not address an issue then there is no order with regard to that issue.

  23. Chris Schmiedeke June 23, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    You need to talk to a lawyer in your area as there is no easy answer to this question. It is always best to simply follow the order.

  24. Chris Schmiedeke June 23, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    I don’t know what your order states as far as visitation. If you have a standard possession order, then I think you are spot on. Good luck!

  25. lisa June 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    i am ncp, my time of possession is june 15-july 27, i could not get off of work in order to have him picked up on june 15 so i made arrangements to get my son for summer possession and sent telephonic message that i would pick him up on june 16th at noon. she agreed and when i arrived (after driving 10+ hours) she said i could not get him until 7pm of which she was late and didnt show up until 8:30. i have my son now and yesterday she said she will pick him up on friday for her weekend in which she didnt notify me of until i received the message. it is NOT within 14 days nor did she give me any notice by april 15 that she wanted to dsignate this weekend as HER weekend. can she still come get him and do i have to allow him to go??

  26. Crystal June 23, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

    What qualifies as a written notice? Does it have to be post marked, or can I just hand it to the other parent?

  27. Michelle White June 27, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    Is email considered “written consent” concerning summer visitation if the NCP responds to it acknowledging receipt? We always used email in the past and now he is denying me my weekend claiming he received no “written letter” from me. He used email to chose his 30 days also.

  28. Bri June 27, 2016 at 7:08 am #

    Hi! I have a question about the summer possession. In my order it states that he must bring her back by 6pm on the 31st, but that also falls on the first weekend of the month which is his weekend. Does he get her until that Sunday? Or does he bring her back on the 31st?

  29. Chris Schmiedeke June 27, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    You may need to talk to a local attorney about this. I think it could be argued that email is a “writing”. However, the wording of your decree may require some other form of written notice. Perhaps a strong letter from your attorney would solve the problem.

  30. Chris Schmiedeke June 27, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    I suppose you can hand it to them, but what proof do you have of delivery? Your word against theirs.

  31. Chris Schmiedeke June 27, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    First, remember that a standard possession order is measured by Fridays, not “weekends”. It is the first, third and fifth Fridays of the month. I am not sure if you have a standard possession order or not, but if you do and his default extended summer possession is July 1 through 31st, then the “fifth” Friday of the month is the 29th and would be swallowed up by his extended summer possession. Not sure how you think it is the first weekend of the month. Also, your question is a bit confusing because the 31st is a Sunday. So in either case, if it was his weekend, or his extended summer possession, under a standard visitation order the child would be returned on Sunday.

  32. Angel June 27, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

    The NCP has my kids from the day school let out til July 1st which is the ordered 30 days. I just received a text from him stating ” Just a heads up we are out of town for the week and wont be back until July 3rd”. What do I need to do if this now qualifies as more than the ordered 30 days and also letting me know last minute.

  33. Jackie July 4, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    My husband and I have the standard Texas order with the mother of his daughter.. So from what I gathered from this piece is that if she does not designate a weekend before April 15th, she doesn’t get a weekend period for our July possession?

    Also, she is refusing to send us a copy of our daughters medical card and doctors information. She says she’s not going to give it to us because she already sent him a photo of it. What can we do about this? (She recently changed our daughters medical provider).


  34. Jackie July 5, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    Oh also!

    Can the NCP designate a weekend that’s not the 1,3 or 5 during the summer for visitation like the CP can?

  35. Tina July 6, 2016 at 8:06 am #

    What if noncustodial parent gives certified notice to pick up child for summer vacation but doesn’t show up on the Friday night summer vacation starts. Does he then just forfeit his entire summer vacation? What if I had made plans while child was planned to be gone?

  36. Jenny G. July 7, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

    Hi Chris.I’m the CP and we have the standard possession order. My 2 kids are currently with the NCP, as he is exercising his right to keep the kids from the 1st to the 31st of July. This is the first time since we divorced 3 years ago that he is exercising his right. I was completely caught off guard by the NCP’s decision to keep them this July and I did not submit a written notice to him by April 15th requesting a weekend in the month of July, so then I don’t get to see the kids in any weekend in the month of that correct? However, I can give the NCP written notice, for example tomorrow, July 8th, requesting to exercise my summer visitation weekend August 6th, correct?

    So, for next year I can give written notice to the NCP by April 15th , designating a Friday in the month of July 2017..correct? Can I also give written notice to the NCP, anytime after April 16th, for an additional Friday, that would be the NCP weekend with the kids…? So, as the CP, I would get one Friday weekend in July and another Friday weekend that would be the NCP weekend, in August 2017, if submitted written notices timely?? A total of 2 Friday weekends…is this correct?

  37. Sharon Hebert July 9, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    What if your ex has his extended month of July visit with your 10 year old daughter but will not allow any contact whatsoever and this is in the state of Texas. She has snuck texts to me in the bathroom and she is pleading for me to come get her!???

  38. lanette July 9, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

    Hi Chris.
    Need your help. In my decree it states I have standard possession, but in the weekend section it has a 2nd paragraph 4that states, “on weekends that do not occur during the regular school term, beginning at 6pm, on the first, third, fifth friday of each month and ending at 6pm on the following sunday.”
    My question is…does this mean my ex-husband can have them on all weekends of my summer possession? I tried to give him the kids on july 1st, but he said he had plans. Then he threatens to take me to court because he’s not getting all weekends during summer. Whats the difference between regular and summer visitation if he thinks he gets weekends as usual? I have always accomodated his requests but he doesn’t seem to want to respect my time with the kids. He expects thursday dinners as usual during my summer possession, as well. Please help me.
    He also says that because neither one of us had submitted written notices about summer, he can have all weekends as usual.

  39. CP July 10, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I have a question. I am the CP and the NCP never notified me for the summer vacation and the default days are listed as June 15 through July 27. So far we have just stuck to the standard visitation, but this weekend, one the day of pick up about five minutes before we usually meet the NCP inform me that they will be taking their 30 consecutive days starting now. My question is since it default back to without notice, and it is Pass June 15, it is JULY 10…does it void the agreement?

  40. Chauntelle July 18, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    If the NCP does not pick the child up on July 1st, is he allowed to pick up at any time?

  41. Sammy July 18, 2016 at 11:23 pm #

    In my situation the NCP selected June 13 – June 30 then July 18 – Aug. 1 sat the designated times. However, since she is in possession on the 1st, 3rd, and 5tj she is actually picking the children up two days earlier and keeping them 2 days later . Looking at weeks (Mon-Fri. ) she is actually getting them 5 weeks with a total of 39 days instead of 30. My attorney said he has never seen a schedule like this before. Is this alliowable?

  42. Jeanette scott July 27, 2016 at 8:23 pm #


    My former spouse was previously living in Houston TX and just recently moved backed to the Austin area.  We were going by the 150 miles or more Summer visitation from June 15 -july 27. He states now since he has moved back he has to go by the 100 miles or less Summer Visitation therefore he states that he suppose to have her back July 31? Could you help clarify this for me. 
    He was in Houston January to June 24. So even in the middle of summer visitation if he up and moves we suppose to go by the one that’s with the current address?

  43. Kimbra Widner July 28, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

    We received notice that CP would exercise extended summer possession only 9 days in advance via certified mail. Does she only have to post it 14 days in advance?

  44. Larry July 31, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

    Hello Chris, I have a question I have standard weekends, Holidays, and summer vacation in my standard court orders in Texas. My question is the mother failed to request Extended weekend by written notice by the deadline April 15/16th. She also failed to request the extended weekend by July 16th. I return my child home on July 31st from summer vacation. When do I start back picking up my child for my standard one day during the week and my standards weekends. Is it once school starts back or since she failed to request extended week for the summer does it start the first weekend in August. My paperwork does not state the date.

  45. Rich August 9, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

    Hi Chris. My order states that for the summer months, we “alternate the child each Friday”, plus the usual 30 day option, which I usually set for July 1st thru 31st. My question is, what are the summer months? The order specifies the beginning of summer possession as the first Friday after his last day of school. But it doesnt say when that arrangement ends. Are the summer months just June & July… or is it June, July, & August? Before now, I understood it to end the Friday before he goes back to school, which has always been August.

  46. Rich August 9, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    Not sure if my question posted. What are “the summer months”. Its not specified in the order. We start week to week the Friday after school lets out for summer. I take my 30 days in July. my ex is saying its only June & July but J was understanding it to be the Friday before he returns to school would conclude “the summer possession schedule”.

  47. Chris Schmiedeke August 10, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    The school district will determine what the “summer months” are.

  48. Chris Schmiedeke August 10, 2016 at 9:41 am #

    Read your order. If you have a standard possession order it will say that Thursdays are “during the regular school term” which means during school. The weekends do not contain such language in a standard possession order. Therefore it would be first, third and fifth Friday of the month all year round.

  49. Chris Schmiedeke August 10, 2016 at 9:42 am #

    If that is what your order requires. What does your order say?

  50. Chris Schmiedeke August 10, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    You need to discuss this with your attorney. Are they following the terms of the order? If so, then I suppose they can.

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