Christmas Visitation Guidelines for Texas Parents After Divorce

If a Texas court processed your divorce, you probably know the Texas Christmas visitation rules for divorced parents well. The parent designated as having the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of your children. This parent is typically the one with whom the children reside during the school week, attending the school within that parent’s jurisdiction.

On the other hand, the parent without the exclusive right to determine the primary residence usually has visitation rights during specific times throughout the year. This typically involves the first, third, and fifth weekends of each month, along with a Thursday night “dinner date” each week. Additionally, this parent may have the children for one month during the summer, either continuously for four weeks or split into two two-week periods. With the semester ending, it’s time to discuss what this means for your family during the Christmas break.

Christmas Vacation Visitation for You and Your Family

First and foremost, unless you and your ex-spouse agreed otherwise in your Final Decree of Divorce, neither of you can have the children for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. You will have Thanksgiving in odd years and Christmas in even years, and the opposite arrangement will apply to your ex-spouse. While some parents may negotiate alternate arrangements due to work schedules or other factors, this is quite rare and not typically mandated in divorce decrees.

If this is your year to have the children on Christmas, you can enjoy their company from 6:00 p.m. on the last day of school until noon on December 28th. Conversely, if it’s your ex-spouse’s turn for Christmas, you’ll have the children from noon on December 28th until 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday before the spring semester resumes. This pattern reverses in the following year.

The Texas Family Code Sets the Holiday Rules

Although the Texas Family Code establishes these Texas Christmas visitation rules for divorced parents as a fair and balanced way to allocate holiday visitation time, some may perceive them as inflexible and cumbersome. However, if you and your ex-spouse can agree on alternative arrangements during your divorce settlement negotiations, your divorce decree will reflect those terms. Ideally, these arrangements should offer more flexibility and better suit your family’s unique needs compared to the default provisions in the Family Code.

Many families have their own holiday traditions and schedules that don’t align with the standard dates. If your family celebrates Christmas on a different day, it’s best to address these issues before finalizing your divorce. Both you and your spouse should be clear about what to expect during the holidays.

Flexibility Can Still Be Achieved

Even if your divorce decree doesn’t align with your desired holiday plans, you can still reach agreements with your ex-spouse. If both parents can come to an understanding before the holidays, it’s in the best interest of your family to cooperate. Any modifications to the holiday schedule should be documented in writing, with signatures from both parties. While this agreement may not be legally binding, it demonstrates a willingness to collaborate and ensures clarity regarding drop-off/pick-up times and other essential details. Utilizing tools like My Family Wizard can also help legitimize these agreements with date and time stamps.

Prioritize Your Children’s Well-Being

Regardless of any past conflicts, I believe that adhering to your divorce decree’s holiday visitation orders can lead to fulfilling and joyful experiences for both you and your children. If flexibility is needed, ensure that any agreements are well-documented and clear. Remember, you are doing this for the well-being and happiness of your children.

If you have further questions about Texas Christmas visitation rules for divorced parents, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our team serves clients throughout southeast Texas and is ready to assist you. If, after the holidays, you find that your visitation schedule needs adjustment, our experienced family law attorneys can provide guidance on modifying your divorce orders.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, navigating Christmas visitation as divorced parents in Texas requires clear understanding and careful planning according to the guidelines set out in your custody agreement. Prioritizing the well-being and happiness of your children during the holiday season can help create a joyful and stress-free experience for everyone involved. By staying informed, cooperative, and flexible, you can ensure that Christmas remains a time of celebration and cherished family memories.


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

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s essential to speak with ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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