In Texas, when parents divorce, one parent is commonly the one who provides the children with their primary residence. The other parent has a possession schedule. This schedule defines the time that the children will be with the parent who is not the one providing the primary residence.
Amicable parents can agree on their own possession schedule for the court to approve. Many parents follow the standard possession schedule as provided by the Texas state legislature. That schedule depends on the age of the children and the existing geographical distance between the parents.
When there are minor children, all final divorce decrees must include provisions for children, which will often include which parent provides the primary residence within a geographical area and a possession schedule for both parents.
Standard Possession Schedule When Parents Live Less than 50 Miles Apart
Under the Standard Possession Order, the parent who does not provide the primary residence for the children will have possession of the children:
- Every Thursday during the regular school term, from after school until when the children return to school on Friday morning. If there is a holiday on Friday or Monday, that expands the possession time.
- On the first, third, and fifth Fridays, from after school and until Monday morning when school resumes.
- Thirty days in the summer. The visiting parent can choose which 30 days they want if they inform the other parent of those days by April 1. If the parent fails to give that notice, then the parent will have possession for the month of July.
Standard Possession Schedule When Parents Live Further than 50 Miles Apart
Adjustments obviously need to be made when parents live further than 50 miles apart. The visiting parent generally will not have overnight possession on Thursday since it would be difficult for the parent and the children to travel after school on Thursday only to travel back to school the following morning.
For parents who live more than 100 miles apart, the standard possession schedule provides for either the same 1, 3 and 5th weekend possession, or one weekend per month, at the choice of the visiting parent, with no mid-week possession, every spring break and 42 days in the summer.
Holiday possession is not dependent on distance between the parent’s homes. If there is the need, long-distance travel language can be included in the court order.
For More Information About Divorce Contact an Experienced Dallas Family Law Attorney
For more information and to schedule a free initial consultation with a Dallas Family Law Attorney, contact Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices at 214-420-1800.