Parents preparing to live underneath a possession schedule due to their divorce or child custody case will always have questions about structuring their programs or ensuring best their and their child's lives are transitioned well into the new lifestyle. With this in mind, I wanted to share some information on possession, visitation, and time management regarding your child.
While your specific situation may not be addressed in this article, do not worry. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, are available six days a week to answer your questions in a free-of-charge consultation. Please feel free to contact our office once you have read this blog post to set up a consultation and learn more about our office's services.
The effect of school on possession in Texas
Suppose you live under a Standard Possession Order (SPO) and have read the language included in the sections detailing possession. In that case, you will know that the order likely considers those weekends that are extended due to school holidays or teacher in-service days. Generally speaking, your possession schedule revolves around the school calendar- when the school year begins and ends on the "macro" level and when the school week begins and concludes on the "micro" level.
It is unlikely that your order contains the name of the school or school district that your order is based around. How can you be sure what school calendar is applicable for you and your child? In a Texas SPO, the school calendar that applies to your situation is either that of the school that your child attends or the school district in which your child resides, primarily if they are not currently enrolled in school.
The last part of the previous paragraph is relevant for parents who have children too young for school. The school district that matters for this discussion is the district assigned to the child's primary residence. If you are the parent with weekend visitation under the SPO, the school district for where your child's other parent lives in the relevant community to go by as far as a schedule or calendar is concerned.
A key point to remember during any potential argument or matter of dispute as far as your court order is concerned is that you and your child's other parent can always negotiate terms that exist outside of the divorce decree or child custody order.
This means that if something included in your order becomes unworkable for either yourself or your child's other parent, you may decide to go outside of the terms of that order to agree upon something that works better for you and your family. This may help avoid arguments and misunderstandings about portions of your order, such as which school calendar applies to your child.
Primary Custody: What will a judge look at when making this decision for my child?
From my experience, clients going through a child custody or divorce case will always ask about being the "primary" parent as one of their first questions asked of me. This is understandable given that the reason you are going through a custody or divorce case is due, at least in part, to your desire to be able to spend as much time with your child as possible. Even the word "primary" would lead you to believe that you can see your child and be with your child primarily instead of secondarily.
Once you begin your family law case, you may be surprised to learn that joint conservators under a Standard Possession Order have almost equal time with your child as far as possession is concerned. The main difference is determining which parent will have the right to designate your child's primary residence. Given that the general split of time between parents is fairly even under an SPO, this then would be the real "gem" to be placed in your crown as a parent.
What will a court consider when awarding the role of primary conservator of your child? First and foremost, if there is evidence of child abuse, neglect, or other wrongdoing on the part of you or your child's other parent, that will nearly permanently automatically disqualify you from becoming the primary conservator of the child. Your ability to be named even a joint conservator of yo4ur child may be in question as well, given past incidents where you or your spouse did not act in the best interest of your child.
For the most part, absent in these extreme circumstances, a court will look at your schedule and compare that to your child's other parent. Whoever is better positioned to provide immediate attention to your child will likely win out in this area. The ability to co-parent with the other parent and encourage and foster a positive relationship between your child and the other parent is also highly valued from my experience.
Finally, the history of each parent and their involvement in having raised the child will be considered. If you have been an absentee parent while the other parent was there for every school recital and doctor appointment, you will face an uphill battle in your bid to become the primary conservator of your child.
Questions about Visitation, Possession, or any other subject in family law? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC
If you consider whether or not to file for a divorce or child custody case, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today. A licensed family law attorney is available to meet with you six days a week in a free-of-charge consultation. We will be happy to answer your questions and discuss the services that our office can provide you with as our client.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Texas Parental Visitation - Texas Standard Possession Orders in Harris and Montgomery County, Texas - Part 1
- Grandparent rights in Texas: Visitation and Preparing for a case
- A Divorced Parent's Guide to Summer Visitation in Texas
- Texas Child Visitation Enforcement
- 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?
- In Texas, are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
- Texas Child Visitation Modification
- Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
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 one of our Houston, TX Child Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our Divorce lawyers in Spring, TX, are 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 Houston, Texas, Cypress, 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.