Visitation in a Texas Divorce

Is there such a thing as "standard visitation"? If so, what is it?

Yes, the Texas Family Code contains a �standard possession schedule� that is presumed to be the minimum time allocated to the parent who does not have primary possession of the child.

Here is the standard schedule:

Parent lives within 100 miles of the child

1. Weekends - First, third and fifth weekends of each month from 6:00 p.m. on Friday to Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Or � From the time school is recessed Or � Until Monday morning with delivery of the child to school. The first weekend of the month begins on the first Friday of the month.

2. Weekday Evenings - During school, each Wednesday evening beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. Or � From the time school is recessed Or � Until Thursday morning with delivery of the child to school.

3. Christmas - Even-numbered years from 6:00 p.m. on the day school is recessed to noon on December 26. Odd-numbered years from noon on December 26 to 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes.

4. Thanksgiving - Odd-numbered years from 6:00 p.m. the day is school is recessed to 6:00 p.m. the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

5. Spring Break - Even-numbered years from 6:00 p.m. the day school is recessed to 6:00 p.m. at the end of spring break.

6. Child's Birthday - From 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Must pick up and return the child to the other parent.

7. Father's/Mother's Day - From 6:00 p.m. on the Friday prior to Father's/Mother's Day to 6:00 p.m. on Father's/Mother's Day.

8. Summer - With written notice by April 1, possession for a total of 30 days. It must end at least 7 days prior to the end of the summer vacation. Without written notice by April 1, possession from 6:00 p.m. July 1 to 6:00 p.m. July 31.

The other parent can select 1 weekend for possession during the summer by giving notice of the date by April 15 or 14 days' notice.

Parent lives more than 100 miles from the child �

1. Weekends - Either (a) the first, third and fifth weekends of each month, or alternatively, (b) one weekend per month upon 7 day's written or telephonic notice. From 6:00 p.m. on Friday to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Or � Same times as schedule above

2. Christmas � Same as above.

3. Thanksgiving � Same as above.

4. Spring Break - Every year from 6:00 p.m. the day school is recessed to 6:00 p.m. at the end of spring break.

5. Child's Birthday � Same as above.

6. Father's/Mother's Day � Same as above.

7. Summer - With written notice by April 1, possession for 42 days. Without written notice by April 1, possession from 6:00 p.m. June 15 to 6:00 p.m. July 27. It must end at least 7 days before the end of summer vacation.

The other parent can select 1 weekend for possession during the summer or 2 weekends if the other parent has the child more than 30 days. Notice is to be given by April 15.

Long Weekends If a weekend includes a school, state, federal or local holiday, then the weekend is extended to include the Friday or Monday holiday.

Is there a standard visitation pattern when the non-custodial parent is in a different state from the child? If so, what is it?

No answer.

Grandparents can request orders for �access� to the grandchildren.  Basically, that means asking the judge to establish a schedule of times that the parents are to recognize as being grandparent time only.

Recent decisions in other states and Texas have weakened the status of grandparents seeking custody of grandchildren.  Those decisions have, to some degree, also diminished the status of grandparents desiring access periods.

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