Book an appointment using SetMore

A Divorced Parent's Guide to Summer Visitation in Texas

Hey there, fellow adventure seekers and co-parenting champions! The sun is shining, the ice cream trucks are on the move, and those kiddos of yours are revving up for a summer of fun. But wait, you're a superhero co-parent, steering the ship through the exciting waters of post-divorce summertime. High-five for taking on this mission with a grin!

Now, picture this: school's out, and your little one's excitement is through the roof. But you, savvy co-parent, are facing a slightly different puzzle. How do you orchestrate the perfect summer for your child while making sure your co-parenting harmony doesn't take a dip in the pool? We've got your back!

Short Answer: Ready for a summer that's all about sun-soaked laughter and building unbreakable co-parenting bonds? Dive into our ultimate guide to conquering post-divorce summertime with your kids!

Ah, but there's more! We're here to sprinkle some practical magic into your co-parenting playbook. From coordinating summer activities that will earn you "Parent of the Year" nods, to turning potential conflicts into breezy solutions, this guide has it all. Here's a sneak peek of what's in store:

Coordinating Summer Activities: Ever wondered how to blend family trips, soccer camp, and movie nights into one epic summer? We've got tips that'll make your co-parenting prowess shine.

Communication and Co-Parenting: What's the secret sauce to exchanging parenting notes like a pro? Discover strategies that'll keep you and your co-parent on the same heartwarming page.

Child's Adjustment to Summer Changes: You know those "I miss school" days? We're here to help your child (and you!) sail through summertime changes with a big, confident smile.

Travel Considerations: Planning a getaway with your mini-adventurer? We've got the lowdown on keeping the other parent in the loop and making travel memories that'll last a lifetime.

Ready to make this summer a page-turner in your co-parenting story? Keep scrolling to uncover golden nuggets on everything from creating unforgettable summer escapades to navigating the tricky realm of long-distance visitation. Let's dive into the sunny seas of co-parenting success!

Unlocking the Ultimate Summertime Adventure: Your Parent's Guide to an Epic Summer!

If you’re a parent who just got a divorce finalized at the end of this school year you’ve probably been acclimating yourself to a different schedule than you’ve become accustomed to as far as summertime with your child. Whether you are the parent with whom your child resides with primarily or you’re the parent who has visitation throughout the year life as a divorced parent is different than life as you knew it.

Some divorce decrees have detailed visitation guidelines when it comes to the summer.

Others follow the Standard Possession Order (SPO) based on the Texas Family Code. Either way it can be difficult to remember, understand and plan for a summer when you’re not exactly clear on when you are supposed to have your child and for how long.

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC would like to walk with you through some of the essential pieces of information necessary to take advantage of and enjoy the time you are allotted during the summer with your child. Part of that enjoyment is not upsetting the balance that you must now share with your ex-spouse in terms of dividing the summer up between both of you.

Texas Standard Possession Order

Most divorced families follow pretty closely the Texas Standard Possession Order. Within this Order, there are certain notice requirements that must be followed in order to take full advantage of the time you are allowed to be in possession of your child.

To begin with, the “nonprimary” parent has the choice to choose a thirty day period during the summer to be theirs continuously if they provide written notice to the primary parent by April 1st. It is allowable to break up the thirty days into two parts.

If you have a divorce decree, you can look the section detailing summer visitation and see what date you are required to provide notice if you are the nonprimary parent. The majority of divorce decrees in Texas will utilize April 1st as the deadline. If you do not provide written notice of your intention to take advantage of the thirty days then by default you are provided possession of your child for the month of July.

April 15th is also a key date for divorced parents to put in their calendars each year. This is the date that the primary parent must provide written notice to the nonprimary parent regarding their intention to take advantage of one weekend during the nonprimary parent’s thirty day period of possession.

The reason why the primary parent is given this ability is that thirty days is a long time for a child to be away from one of their parents. This way, theoretically, the primary parent wouldn’t have to go any longer than two weeks without seeing their child.

Extended Summer Possession for a Primary Parent

If you are the parent with whom the child lives primarily during the school year do not worry that you will not be able to have an opportunity to take a vacation with your child. The key to know when this period of possession is likely to fall is if the nonprimary parent provides the written notice by April 1st designating their chosen period of possession.

If he or she does not provide notice by this date and is defaulted into possession of the child in July, it is likely that the primary parent’s period of possession would take place during the first couple weeks in either June or August. This is because the primary parent has the ability to choose one weekend that falls outside of the nonprimary parent’s period of possession to have the child.

What about Father’s Day?

Father’s Day Weekend, almost without exception, goes to the father after a divorce. As alluded to earlier in this blog post this Weekend comes in addition to the time a father is allotted under a Standard Possession Order, regardless if he is the primary or nonprimary parent of the child.

It is considered a holiday which takes precedence over other periods of possession as a result.

What if my ex-spouse denies me possession of my child during the summer?

If you have thoroughly reviewed your divorce decree, provided the requisite notice to your ex-spouse stating the periods of possession you have chosen to take advantage of and are still denied the ability to see your child when the time comes you have the option to pursue an enforcement case against your former spouse.

An enforcement is a remedy available to parents if the other parent violates a provision in an order. While it is understandable to an extent if a person misapplies or misunderstands a portion of a divorce decree, it is not an excuse to violate an order.

If this scenario fits your life, you should consider hiring an attorney to file the enforcement for you. The reason being is that an enforcement is a very specific kind of legal suit that has certain requirements that must be met in your court documents.

If the documents fail to state a violation in a particular way, or is too aggressive in its request for relief then your suit can be denied by a judge. Penalties for violating a court’s order include attorney's fees, court costs and the possibility of jail time.

Coordinating Summer Activities

Planning summer activities and trips with your child can be an exciting endeavor, but it requires careful coordination, especially for divorced parents. Here are some valuable tips to ensure a fantastic summer:

Summer Activity

Coordinating Tips

Family Camping Trip

1. Discuss potential dates with your co-parent well in advance.

2. Consider your child's interests and choose a location together.

3. Share packing responsibilities and ensure both households have necessary gear.

4. Plan for regular check-ins with your co-parent during the trip.

5. Capture memories with shared photos and a joint camping journal.

Soccer Camp

1. Research available camps and choose one that fits the schedule.

2. Communicate camp dates and details to your co-parent promptly.

3. Decide on transportation logistics for drop-offs and pick-ups.

4. Coordinate any required equipment or uniforms between households.

5. Cheer together from the sidelines to show united support.

Movie Night Extravaganza

1. Plan a list of movies with your child and get their input.

2. Discuss the movie night date with your co-parent and choose a night that works for both households.

3. Prepare a shared snack stash that your child can bring to each movie night.

4. Create a cozy movie-watching environment with comfy pillows and blankets.

5. Keep a shared movie list and rate each film for future reference.

Tips for Planning Summer Activities and Trips

Embrace the opportunity to create lasting memories with your child during the summer months. Sit down together and brainstorm a list of activities and destinations that interest both of you. Whether it's a camping trip, a beach vacation, or exploring local attractions, involving your child in the planning process can foster excitement and anticipation.

Strategies for Ensuring Both Parents Are Aware of the Child's Schedule

Effective communication between co-parents is key to a successful summer schedule. Share your planned activities and trips well in advance with the other parent. This proactive approach allows both parents to adjust their schedules accordingly and ensures that your child's interests and needs are prioritized.

Involving Your Child in Planning Summer Activities and Destinations

Empower your child by letting them have a say in the summer plans. Ask them what activities they'd like to do and where they'd like to go. This not only helps build a sense of anticipation but also shows your child that their voice matters in the decision-making process.

Communication and Co-Parenting

Maintaining effective communication and co-parenting harmony during the summer months is essential for your child's well-being. Here's how to navigate this aspect:

Effective Communication Strategies between Divorced Parents

Open and respectful communication is the cornerstone of successful co-parenting. Use various communication channels, such as phone calls, emails, or co-parenting apps, to keep each other informed about your child's summer plans, changes in schedule, and any concerns that may arise.

Co-Parenting Techniques for a Smooth Transition

Transitioning between households can be challenging for a child. Coordinate with the other parent to ensure the handovers are seamless. A consistent routine, shared calendars, and clear expectations can help ease the transition and provide stability for your child.

Handling Disagreements or Conflicts

Disagreements are natural, but they shouldn't disrupt your child's summer experience. Approach conflicts with a problem-solving mindset. If a disagreement arises, address it privately, away from your child's presence, and seek compromise for the sake of their happiness.

Child's Adjustment to Summer Changes

Children thrive on routine, so adjusting to a different summer schedule after divorce requires sensitivity and care:

Helping Your Child Adjust to a Different Summer Schedule

Change can be unsettling for children. Talk to your child about the upcoming changes in their summer routine, emphasizing the positive aspects, such as new experiences and adventures. Reassure them that both parents are committed to their well-being.

Strategies for Addressing Emotional Challenges

Your child might experience a range of emotions during the transition. Encourage open conversations and create a safe space for them to express their feelings. Reassure them that their emotions are valid and that you're there to support them.

Creating Stability and Routine

Structure is comforting for children. Even during the flexible summer months, establish a loose routine that includes regular meal times, bedtime rituals, and designated family activities. This provides a sense of stability amid the changes.

Travel Considerations

Traveling with your child during the summer visitation offers exciting opportunities, but it requires careful planning and consideration:

Exploring Considerations for Traveling with Your Child

If you're planning to travel with your child, communicate your travel dates, destinations, and contact information with the other parent. Transparency builds trust and ensures that both parents are informed in case of emergencies.

Navigating Legal Requirements and Permissions

If your travel plans involve crossing state lines or international borders, be aware of any legal requirements, such as consent from the other parent or court permissions. Failure to adhere to these requirements could lead to complications.

Ensuring Your Child's Comfort During Trips

Pack familiar items from both households to create a sense of familiarity for your child during the trip. Keep communication open with the other parent while you're away, sharing updates and pictures to reassure them of your child's well-being.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we'll dive into topics such as creating memorable summer experiences, managing long-distance visitation, making modifications to summer visitation plans, and addressing financial considerations for summer activities. Your child's summer adventure awaits!

Ready to Rock Your Co-Parenting Summer? Let's Soak Up the Sun and Smiles!

And there you have it, brave co-parenting adventurers—your all-access pass to the summer of a lifetime! From coordinating activities that make you the coolest parent on the block, to deftly navigating disagreements with the finesse of a synchronized swimming duo, you've got this in the bag!

Short Answer: It's time to embrace the sunshine, the challenges, and the unforgettable memories of post-divorce summertime with your kids. Get ready to be the superhero co-parent of the season!

Remember when summer meant endless days of hide-and-seek and catching fireflies in glass jars? Well, guess what? Those radiant memories are waiting to be made once again, and you're in the director's chair.

So, whether you're planning a cross-country road trip, orchestrating a magical backyard campout, or simply conquering the perfect ice cream cone, these summer shenanigans are all about heartwarming connections and joyous co-parenting triumphs.

As you dive into the sunny adventures ahead, keep these tips, tricks, and heart-to-heart advice close to your sunhat-adorned head. Be the captain of your co-parenting ship, and let this summer be a chapter that your kids will fondly recall with twinkle-eyed nostalgia.

Now, grab that sunscreen, your co-parenting cape, and go make those summer memories shimmer and shine!

Book an appointment with Law Office of Bryan Fagan using SetMore


Adobe Stock 62844981[2]If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: 16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce

Divorce Wasting Assets[4] If you want to know more about how to prepare, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: 13 Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For in Your Texas Divorce, and How to Counter Them" Today!

Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Summertime Divorce in Texas
  2. Summer Visitation Basics for a Divorced Parent in Texas
  3. Grandparent rights in Texas: Visitation and Preparing for a case
  4. Texas Child Visitation Enforcement
  5. Summer Visitation Basics for a Divorced Parent in Texas
  6. How Does Summertime Visitation Work for Divorced Parents in Texas?
  7. How does summer visitation work?
  8. 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
  9. When Your Child's Extended Family Wants Visitation in Texas
  10. Supervised Visitation in a Texas Divorce: Can it happen to me?
  11. In Texas are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
  12. Texas Child Visitation Modification
  13. Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
  14. The Ins and Outs of Child Visitation in Texas

Frequently Asked Questions

Fill Out To Watch Now!

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.