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Deadline to designate periods of summer possession in Texas

If you are the parent of a child under a child custody order, then you either have primary conservatorships rights or visitation with your child. The parent with primary conservatorships rights has your child living with you throughout the school year. On the other hand, the parent with Visitation rights typically has possession of the child on alternating weekends during the school year and then for extended periods in the summer. Holidays Are typically split pretty much down the middle.

As we are now entering into a period of warmer weather it is only a matter of time before summer vacation is here. For many families, this is an exciting time of planning adventures away from home, swimming pools, and a more relaxed schedule. However, if you are a person who is a parent to a child under a child custody order and you know certain responsibilities are relevant to being able to have the best possible summer with your child. The reason for this is that different rules go into place for custody and visitation in the summer than during the rest of the year.

Today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is designed to help parents who have questions about what it means to raise a child after a divorce or child custody case is over. You may have completed your case in the fall or winter, and this is your first summer experience to go through. As such, you may be interested in learning more about what your responsibilities are as a non-custodial parent or as a custodial parent. As much as we want to tell ourselves that we may have paid attention to the details in our divorce or child custody case it may be that some of the finer points of the circumstances involving our family passed us by.

For that reason, I would like to offer you some friendly information as we head into an exciting time of the year for families in Southeast Texas. So that you can avoid arguments and disagreements with your Co-parent, I think it is a wise idea to read through this blog post. Additionally, if you want to be able to have the best possible time with your children in the time allotted to you then I suggest you read through this blog post. If you have questions about your court order or may even be interested in modifying your court order, then do not hesitate to contact our law office today. We can schedule a free-of-charge consultation for you at one of our two Houston area locations, over the phone, or even via video.

Summer visitation in Texas

If you are the parent who has visitation rights related to your child, then you need to know that you have some dates that need to be fresh in your mind at the beginning of every period of summer visitation. The main thing to bear in mind here is that it is not as though the family court judge or your attorney we'll follow you home from your court case to make sure that you are following the instructions contained in your court order. Brother, the responsibility falls on you to make sure that you are abiding by the terms of your court order and doing what is necessary to ensure there are no disagreements or mistakes made concerning your case and the child custody aspects of it. Any mistakes made within the case itself can be used against you in potential enforcement face as filed by your spouse or Co-parent.

This past week on April 1st most court orders state that you would have needed to contact your Co-parent to designate the periods of possession that you are requesting for the summertime. Under a standard possession order in Texas, you have 30 days of extended summer possession. For parents like you who mainly had weekend visitation during the school year 30 days of uninterrupted possession can seem like a welcome reward for you and your family. However, this cannot be something general where you state a basic period that you would like to be able to see your children in the summer. Rather, you need to have a specific beginning and endpoint for your 30 days to begin and end.

If you failed to contact your spouse or Co-parent regarding your desire. Or possession then they default summer visitation. Begins on July 1st and ends on July 31st a specific time for the position to begin and end each day are 6:00 PM. For most people, this is the same time that periods of possession begin and end during the school year. However, you should make sure to check and see what your specific periods of possession are as stated in your court orders. For example, you and your spouse may have agreed to a different time in your divorce decree because of one of your work schedules. Assets and the periods in your situation may differ slightly from what I'm telling you on a general basis here in this blog post.

Aside from the extended. In summer possession you will have your normal weekends on the first, 3rd, and 5th-weekend basis of each month. Fathers also get a period on Father's Day for the most part. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to be able to look at and understand the specifics of your court order. If there is some aspect of your court order that you do not understand, then you absolutely should contact an experienced family law attorney. It does not mean that you must hire a lawyer as you did for your child custody or divorce case. What it does mean is that you would be better off sitting down with that attorney to walk through your court order. You may even be able to contact your old attorney and he or she can do so with you at a reduced or no-cost basis.

What are the responsibilities of a custodial parent during the summer months?

Even if you are the custodial parent, you will also have periods in the summer that are designated for you to have uninterrupted possession of your children. If you can give your Co-parent notice by the 15th of April you can designate one weekend during the non-custodial parent’s period of possession where you can spend time with your children. That period typically begins at 6:00 PM on Friday and would end at 6:00 PM on the following Sunday. You were responsible for doing the picking up and dropping off. It is important to note that in most cases if you fail to notify your Co-parent by April 15th of your desired weekend then you lose this time with your children. There is no fallback time for you to take advantage of.

For the most part, parents can choose to be flexible with the uninterrupted 30 days of possession. This means that you do not have to necessarily choose that consecutive 30-day period to take advantage of. For example, you could choose to have three 10-day periods of possession during different times in the summer. Of course, the primary conservator could still have it there one week at a time during this. Regardless of what you choose to do. As a custodial parent, you could also choose to have one weekend in addition to your normally scheduled weekends outside of the extended period of possession exercised by your Co-parent. For most parents, this means a June or August period of possession if the non-custodial parent chooses July to be their period of uninterrupted possession and visitation.

Essential pieces of information to remember for custodial and non-custodial parents

If this is your first summer living under child custody or divorce court orders, then you need to be able to keep track of all this new information. Fortunately, I think I have been able to break down these types of scenarios for you and can provide you with basic information to utilize in your daily life. Remember that no matter what information I share here on the blog it does not specifically apply to you. I list out this information for you on a general basis to provide you with an understanding of what most people with standard possession orders will face during the summertime.

The best way for you to learn what your specific circumstances are is to review your family court orders. In reality, the only way for you to learn what your specific court orders are our two looks through your orders themselves. Talking to other people and getting their perspectives can be helpful but ultimately the only way to know for certain is to be familiar with your specific court orders. There is no substitute for taking the time to review your court orders to ensure that you understand what they say.

First off, in this summertime the non-custodial parent of your children gets first, 3rd, and 5th Friday weekend possession. In this way visitation during the summer months and the school year are the same. Many parents assume that because the summer months mean no school that the weekend visitation must change period this is not the case. You will maintain a similar weekend visitation regimen throughout the summer other than during extended periods of possession by the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent will typically provide transportation on these weekends other than during the custodial parent’s weekend visitation period during the non-custodial parent’s extended visitation.

The most notable type of change that parents experience during the summer months under a standard possession order would be that the non-custodial parent gets their extended period of position totaling 30 days with the children. For different parents, this can mean different things. For example, you may choose to take all your 30 days at once. You will then have a months’ worth of visitation but for one weekend where the custodial parent can spend time with your children. Otherwise, this allows you a long and uninterrupted period of possession with your children. A welcome break from disjointed and weekend-based visitation during the school year.

Or you may choose to get more creative with your time. You can select intervals that add up to 30 days as far as possession is concerned. However, keep in mind that the more creative your 30 days get the more likely there are to be disagreements or problems with logistics. For example, if you choose to have periods of possession that lasts three or four days at a time then you are likely running in two weekends, plans that the children have as well as driving difficulties for both parents. If you want to avoid hey situation where there are logistical problems for you and your Co-parent and selecting one or two periods of visitation for a total of 30 days may work better period

Next, the custodial parent of your children can choose two weekends during the summer. This would count as any weekend that occurs during the non-custodial parent's extended summer possession. However, if you are the custodial parent you need to provide your Co-parent with notice of your weekend by April 1st. If you do not do so then you would lose the opportunity to have this weekend. There is no default weekend outlined in that family code though there may be in your court orders.

Finally, the custodial parent of your children can choose a weekend that would otherwise belong to the non-custodial parent. Most typically this is a first, 3rd, or 5th Friday to Sunday weekend at some other point in the summer. The caveat to this general rule is that you would need to give at least 14 days of notice to your Co-parent and that weekend could not fall within the extended summer possession period of your Co-parent or on Father's Day. That is assuming that your child's father is the non-custodial parent.

Modifying visitation and possession orders

If all of this comes off as confusing, then you are not alone. Keeping track of the terminology and the scheduling of the standard possession order can be a challenge for many families. While a standard possession order comes easy to many attorneys and families during a family law case it may not work as well for you and your family after the case is over. For that reason, we may be better off thinking critically while your case is ongoing to avoid circumstances where you are left with a court order that was defaulted from the perspective of your attorney.

However, you may be in a position now where you are some months after the child custody of your divorce case and therefore do not have an opportunity to adjust your possession orders before the end of your case. A relevant question to ask would be what you can do at this time to create a situation for your family that works better for everyone. Are you able to go back and change court orders after the conclusion of a child custody or divorce case? Or are you stuck with what you created during that case?

The truth is that you can modify a child custody or divorce court order from the perspective of Possession and visitation. To do so you must be able to show that a material or a substantial change has occurred in the circumstances of either you, your Co-parent, or one of the children. Give me T real and substantial change is a significant change. Usually, this involves a change in work for a parent, a developmental need that occurs for a child, or someone moving from place to place. These would necessitate a change to your visitation structure if a standard possession order no longer would work, for example. Being able to negotiate a complex change to your court orders can take time and some skill in communication. For that reason, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced family law attorney to do so.

For the time being, however, you can be held responsible for failing to follow court orders. Even if they do not work well for your case or your family you still need to abide by them. Your failure to do so can result in problems for you and your family and the potential for an enforcement case to be filed against you.

Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer we have free-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are helpful not only to provide you with additional information about the world of Texas family law but also to help you understand how your family may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Attorneys

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 one of our Spring, TX Divorce Attorneys right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce attorneys 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 Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, and 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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