texas standard possession order de-mystified – thursday possession

While the weekend possessions of a Texas Standard Possession Order are the backbone of visitation in Texas and widely understood, Thursday periods of possession are many times completely misunderstood.

Probably the most misunderstood part of the Thursday possession is when it occurs. While the weekend possessions follow essentially an every other weekend schedule, Thursday visitations under the Texas Standard Possession Order occur every week during the school term. This means that they DO NOT occur during the summer. If the child concerned is not in school, then it follows the school term for district in which the child would be enrolled if in school. For instance if the child is in daycare in Plano and lives in Plano, then the Plano Independent School District calendar would control.

Thursday periods of possession begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. the same day. However, much like the weekend periods of possession, the person exercising visitation can elect to have the visits begin at the time the child’s school is dismissed, or anytime between the time school is dismissed and 6:00 p.m., and end when school resumes the following Friday.

If you are following along with a calendar, and I know you are, you will notice that during the school term, this essentially creates a long weekend when it is the visiting parent’s weekend if they have made the elections to pickup from school or drop off at school. Under this scenario the visitation would begin at the time the child’s school is dismissed on Thursday and end on the Monday following the weekend at the time school begins. It gets even longer if the weekend ends with a Monday holiday as described in my post on weekend visitation under the Texas Standard Possession Order.

For parents who live over 100 miles there is no Thursday period of possession in the standard possession order.

In my next installment I will discuss summer possession under the Texas Standard Possession Order.

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71 Responses to texas standard possession order de-mystified – thursday possession

  1. Kathy May 17, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    If child is 3 or 4 years of age and attends daycare, order states visitation begins when school is dismissed what time is that?

  2. Marc Johnson May 19, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    If tonight is regular Thursday night visitation 6-8 , but school is out tomorrow for a bad weather day the school district never used , can I keep my son overnight for a long weekend since it is my regularly scheduled visitation weekend?

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

    Follow the order.

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

    Whenever school is dismissed at the school they would attend if they were in school.

  5. Jessica June 2, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    School is out today for summer, it was a short day. Does the Thursday visit still happen? Or is it under summer

  6. Elizabeth December 20, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

    My grandson’s paternal grandmother refused my grandson stating that my Christmas visitation would start on Friday at noon when daycare lets out. We currently have a a standard visitation “school” order in place. The district that he would attend if he was entolled in school has let out as of Friday of last week. Am I misunderstanding the order when I state that I should have possession of my grandson as of last Friday? Someone please help.

  7. Ana Florez April 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

    My nephew goes to home care, he is 5 years old not enrolled in school yet. It’s considered ” elementary school” for expanded custody school district ‘s schedule? Does my brother can take him back to home care on Monday 7:30 am, after spending the weekend with him. Thanks

  8. Chris Schmiedeke April 26, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

    I have no way of knowing what your order says. Typically, if the child is not in school, you use the school district calendar in which the child would go to school if they were in school. Not sure if your order is different or not. You should have a lawyer review your order and clarify for a small fee.

    If you have time, check out my new website at chrislawyer.com for articles and videos. I am moving the blog over there.

  9. Elizabeth May 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    What about if they are 4 and in daycare or preschool. Do the Thursday visits still apply?

  10. Chris Schmiedeke May 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    Review your order. If you have a standard possession order, the answer is in there. You just need to read, and understand, your order.

  11. Beverly December 8, 2017 at 7:11 am #

    If I have expanded schedule here in Austin, TX. Over nights every Thursday and return my son to school when school resumes Friday morning, what happens if (today-Friday) school was cancelled due to weather? When do I return my son to his mother since it is her weekend.
    I would guess 3pm at the meeting place which is when her procession would normally start, at the time child would normally be released from school. But if a bad weather day is treated like a student holiday then would we would return at 6pm…
    Please help us figure out what is best to do because his ex is expecting son returned to her at her home by 8:30am, just doesn’t seem right that what’s she say goes! It’s a gray area and I don’t know what to do?

  12. Mamamia January 7, 2018 at 8:04 pm #

    What if my son only goes to school on Mon and Wed and stays home the rest of the time?

  13. George June 3, 2018 at 10:02 pm #

    I have expanded standard possession of my two kids who are 2 and 3. Both attend daycare full time Monday- Friday. Based on our school district Thursday is the last day of school for summer vacation. I know I do not get my Thursday visitations during the summer but since the last day of school falls on a Thursday do I still get that day/night or no?

  14. Chris Schmiedeke June 13, 2018 at 8:50 am #

    There is no clear answer to that that I know of. Hopefully you worked something out.

  15. lily August 8, 2018 at 7:07 pm #

    my husband got custody of my 3 children. the oldest is 17 then 11 and my boy is 9. i went prose at final hearing and he had a lawyer. the lawyer granted his modification and gave me standard possession order, i asked the judge for expansion version where we exchange the children at school but my ex husband and his lawyer refused so the judge did not grant me expansion. i have the children every other weekend where i have to pick them up and drop them off sunday at 6:00pm and thursdays i get them for 2 hours from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. i normally work and get off st 7:00 pm. my husband has to make arrangements to pick them up for me.
    the other day my daughter got out of school thursday at 7:00 pm so we went to eat and took them back an hour late and i received a letter from his lawyer giving me a warning for taking the kids late., is there something i can do
    to change the orders- remember the judge didn’t grant me expansion possession. i just don’t know what to do and the schedule is really becoming a head ache. my ex and i do not co parent. he hates me and i’m sure he enjoys any inconvenience that it causes me. please help

  16. wayne November 12, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

    If the order states holiday starts when the school is dismissed and the school holiday starts the following Monday thru Friday of the next week. Does the court see it as school being dismissed that Friday or Monday?

  17. Erik October 7, 2019 at 10:55 pm #

    My ex gets our son every thursday and brings him back to school on friday. It’s my weekend and there is no school friday. Do I get him after school thursday?

  18. Josh May 21, 2020 at 2:15 am #

    In el paso tx. Do I still have access to my kids Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. even though school is over

  19. Chris Schmiedeke July 20, 2020 at 10:49 am #

    What does your order say? Does it say Thursdays “during the school term”?

  20. Matt September 24, 2020 at 6:37 pm #

    In my order I have E-SPO. For Thursday during the school term I have the right to pick my daughter up from her school at dismissal time and then drop her off at school Friday morning.

    Problem: I work third shift (at night), so I am not able to keep my daughter overnight on Thursdays.

    Question: If a parent is unable to exercise that portion of the E-SPO, would they by default get the SPO 6pm-8pm?

  21. Chris Schmiedeke November 17, 2020 at 11:16 am #

    No, the order would need to be followed if the parents cannot agree to modify the times. Maybe designate a competent adult to take to school?

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