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
4. Thanksgiving - Odd-numbered
years from 6:00 p.m. the day is school is recessed to 6:00 p.m. the Sunday
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
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
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
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
5. Child's Birthday - Same as
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.
a weekend includes a school, state, federal or local holiday, then the weekend
is extended to include the Friday or Monday holiday.
there a standard visitation pattern when the non-custodial parent is in a
different state from the child? If so, what is it?
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.
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.