The official start of summer, having just passed, presents an ideal opportunity to explore the often misunderstood topic of summer visitation in Texas for divorced parents. As our kids wrap up the school year and look forward to days of swimming pools and late nights, divorced parents must navigate a challenging, and not always enjoyable, dance.
How their parents handle themselves can have a tremendous effect on if the kids’ summer is an enjoyable one or not. Let’s discuss how summer visitation works in Texas.
Standard Possession Order Summer Visitation
The primary factor determining a parent’s summer visitation days with their child is the distance between their residences. For a parent living over 100 miles from the child, typical Thursday visits during the school year are not feasible. This difference stems from the logistical challenge of a 200-mile round trip every Thursday.
During the summer months, these Thursday visitations are typically discontinued, reflecting the need for practical arrangements. For weekend visitation, the parent’s pickup time on Friday might change from after school dismissal to 6:00 p.m. This adjustment means the child now returns to the other parent’s home at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday instead of going back to school on Monday morning. This shift often leads to the loss of an overnight visit every other week, a change not always welcomed by divorced parents.
However, variations exist, and it’s crucial for divorced parents to consult their Final Decree of Divorce. This document will provide the specific details and guidelines relevant to their unique situation, ensuring clarity and compliance with the agreed-upon terms.
Extended Periods of Summer Visitation Under a Standard Possession Order
The other big change in the summer under a Standard Possession Order in Texas must do with extended periods of possession. If you are the parent with whom the child does not reside with primarily you know that by April 1st of each year it is your responsibility to communicate in writing your intention to take advantage of a 30-day period of extended summertime visitation.
If you fail to send in the requisite notice your Divorce Decree provides that your default period of possession of your child will be from July 1st to July 30th.
If you’re the primary residential parent, you have two choices for summer visitation. By April 15th, you must select a weekend during the other parent’s extended visitation period.
Additionally, you can choose a regular 1st, 3rd, or 5th weekend outside the extended summer period. This decision should be made by April 15th or with at least two weeks’ notice. This allows the primary parent an uninterrupted period, ideal for short vacations or activities with the children.
When Does the Summertime Visitation Period Stop?
Under a standard possession order, parents must complete visitation periods two Sundays before the Fall semester of school begins. Recognizing that children are creatures of habit, the State legislature aims to help them reestablish a routine by allowing a week to adjust to early bedtimes and wake-up times.
A Note on Father’s Day
Father’s Day is treated the same way as Mother’s Day, the only difference is that Father’s Day falls during the summer while Mother’s Day falls during the school year. Father’s Day weekend trumps any other weekend plans or selections of the mother. Dad will always get to see his child on Father’s Day weekend.
Providing Notice of Your Summer Visitation Intentions
As parents, you are relying on the other parent to provide notice during the April 1 to April 15 time period of when your ex-spouse intends to take advantage of their allotted summertime possession opportunities.
Both parents must receive timely notice to prepare for their time during a significant period.
Each parent should review their Final Decree of Divorce to understand their court orders. Parents need to determine whether to provide notice in writing via email, text message, or a co-parenting website like Our Family Wizard.
Know well in advance what your decree requires and you can save yourself a lot of trouble. What sort of trouble, you may be asking? Read on to find out.
Consequences for Failing to Abide by Your Divorce Decree
Not following your divorce decree could lead to court for an enforcement suit by your ex-spouse. An enforcement suit helps your ex-spouse ensure you comply with the decree’s terms.
For instance, if your ex-spouse properly notifies you about seeing your child during your extended visitation, you must comply. Failing to do so, like withholding the child, could result in an enforcement suit against you.
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC is here to help with Summer Visitation Questions
If you have a question regarding the time you can see your child in the summer, or if your ex-spouse has not complied with your divorce decree regarding summer visitation do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our Houston divorce attorneys are ready and able to assist you and your family in addressing these issues directly.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- A Divorced Parent’s Guide to Summer Visitation in Texas
- Summer Visitation Basics for a Divorced Parent in Texas
- How Does Summertime Visitation Work for Divorced Parents in Texas?
- How does summer visitation work?
- 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
- When Your Child’s Extended Family Wants Visitation in Texas
- Supervised Visitation in a Texas Divorce: Can it happen to me?
- Grandparent Visitation Rights in Texas?
- In Texas are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
- Texas Child Visitation Modification
- Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
- Texas Parental Visitation – Texas Standard Possession Orders in Harris and Montgomery County, Texas – Part 1
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 important 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 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.
Bryan Fagan, a native of Atascocita, Texas, is a dedicated family law attorney inspired by John Grisham’s “The Pelican Brief.” He is the first lawyer in his family, which includes two adopted brothers. Bryan’s commitment to family is personal and professional; he cared for his grandmother with Alzheimer’s while completing his degree and attended the South Texas College of Law at night.
Married with three children, Bryan’s personal experiences enrich his understanding of family dynamics, which is central to his legal practice. He specializes in family law, offering innovative and efficient legal services. A certified member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, Bryan is part of an elite group of legal professionals committed to ongoing education and high-level expertise.
His legal practice covers divorce, custody disputes, property disputes, adoption, paternity, and mediation. Bryan is also experienced in drafting marital property agreements. He leads a team dedicated to complex family law cases and protecting families from false CPS allegations.
Based in Houston, Bryan is active in the Houston Family Law Sector of the Houston Bar Association and various family law groups in Texas. His deep understanding of family values and his professional dedication make him a compassionate advocate for families navigating Texas family law.