Clarifying the Texas Summer Visitation Schedule
Schools are now out and the three months of summer vacation have now started. While just about all parents are concerned with what their kids are going to do to fill the time they would ordinarily spend in the classroom, parents who are divorced will typically be concerned with when they actually get to spend time with their kids as well. This is especially true for those parents who are the possessory parent, i.e., the one with whom the child(ren) do not primarily reside with. The summer months are seen as an opportunity for this parent to have a chance to experience some extended time with the kids.
The Texas Family Code draws a distinction between:
1. parents who live within 100 miles of one another and
2. parents who live more than 100 miles from one another.
If the possessory conservator lives within 100 miles of the managing conservator, the possessory conservator will give the managing conservator written notice by April 1st which states the extended period or periods of summer possession (totaling 30 days) that the possessory conservator is requesting for the upcoming summer months.
BEGINNING AND ENDING
That period of possession can begin no earlier than the day after summer vacation begins and shall end no later than seven days prior to the beginning of the new school year.
The possessory conservator may exercise their periods of possession in no more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each. Further, each period of possession shall begin and end at 6:00 p.m. on whichever days he or she chooses.
APRIL 1ST NOTICE REQUIREMENT
If the possessory conservator does not give the managing conservator written notice by April 1st of that year which specifies the extended period or periods of possession he or she would like to take advantage of during summer vacation, they are automatically granted time with their child(ren) for thirty consecutive days beginning on July 1 at 6:00 p.m. and ending on July 31 at 6:00 p.m.
As far as the managing conservator is concerned, that parent shall have possession of the child(ren) on any one weekend beginning Friday at 6:00 p.m. and ending on the following Sunday at 6:00 p.m. during any one period of possession by the other parent.
The exception to this rule is that the managing conservator must give written notice by April 15th to the possessory conservator of their intention to take advantage of this weekend. Unlike the drop off/pick up rules for the rest of the year, the summer time sees the managing conservator be responsible for transportation purposes in this scenario.
While the summer is intended to be a time of fun for your kids, when parents do not work together, it can also cause stress and anxiety for the kids. When going through the summer visitation, it is in everyone’s best interests to remember that ultimately what is best for the children is what’s best for the parents.