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Will your divorce include a Standard Possession Order?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2021 | Child Custody And Support |

When you and your spouse divorce, you must, if you have children, file a written parenting plan with the court that includes a visitation schedule. While Texas law allows the two of you to devise your own plan, the Texas Court System advises that a Standard Possession Order becomes the default parenting plan if you fail to do so.

The SPO is quite detailed and provides for two situations: when you and your former spouse live fewer than 100 miles from each other after your divorce and when you live more than that distance apart.

Fewer than 100 miles provisions

If you become your children’s noncustodial parent, the SPO gives you visitation with them at the following times:

  • First, third and fifth weekends of each month from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday
  • Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. during the school year
  • Extended visitation during their summer vacations

More than 100 miles provisions

As the noncustodial parent, the SPO gives you visitation at the following times:

  • One weekend per month from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday
  • Extended visitation during their spring breaks
  • Extended visitation during their summer vacations

You can choose which weekend you want your children to visit you during the school year, but you must give their custodial parent, i.e., your former spouse, notice of your choice at least three months prior to the first visitation. If you later wish to change your chosen weekend, you can do so by giving your former spouse at least two weeks’ notice of the change.

As for major holidays, the SPO gives you, the noncustodial parent, visitation on Thanksgiving and the first half of your children’s Christmas vacation in odd-numbered years. This schedule reverses in even-numbered years.

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