It’s Summer Time! How Does Our Standard Visitation Schedule Work? Part 2
Summer is upon us. The kids are getting out of school, people are starting vacations and summer visitation is about to begin. In this post we will discuss what the summer changes are in a standard visitation schedule when the parties live beyond 100 miles from each other.
So how does visitation under a standard possession order (SPO) change during summer for parents who live over 100 miles of each other?
The first thing to look at is what your order says for weekends. Some orders change the weekend possession schedule during summer from a pick up at school on Fridays with a return to school on Monday to a pick up on Friday at 6:00 p.m. with a return at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. This loss of Sunday overnights can reduce your time and limit your options for activities on a Sunday.
The other change in the Texas standard possession order is related to extended periods of summer possession. The person who has possession in accordance with a standard possession schedule should have already sent their election of their 42 day period of extended possession. This was due by April 1. If you did not send this notice out, the SPO provides that you receive the child from June 15 until July 27 as your extended summer period. If you provide notice by April 1 or if the parties agree, you can break up your 42 days into two separate periods. Each of these periods must be at least 7 days.
The parent who has primary possession then gets to make two elections. The first is due by April 15. By this date, the primary parent must elect a single weekend during the extended summer period that the other parent elected for their 42 day period if the other conservator elected to exercise his periods of summer possession in two periods with each being 30 days or less. If the other conservator elects to take their possession such that one of the periods exceeds 30 days then the primary conservator may elect 2 weekends.
Additionally, by April 15th the primary conservator may elect a period of 21 days during which the other conservator shall not have their regularly scheduled 1st, 3rd or 5th weekends or the alternate weekend per month if the that election has been previously made. This period of 21 days may be divided into two blocks of time as long as each block of time is at least 7 days.
In a SPO, all extended summer periods must be completed one-week before school starts. The purpose is to allow the children to begin to get back into a routine before school starts and to have them ready for the first day of school.
The one weekend that is protected over the summer is Father’s Day weekend. The standard possession schedule is set out that the father gets Father’s Day weekend and this will supersede any weekend or summer periods.
Please remember that this applies to a Texas standard possession schedule and even within a standard possession schedule you may have slight variations. This is simply general advice. You should always look at and rely on your specific order. If you live in or near Austin, Texas and need the services of a Board Certified Family Law Attorney, please contact us.
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