A Standard Possession Order – Part 3: Summer Visitation Within 100 Miles

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by | May 27, 2021

A Standard Possession Order (SPO) sets the schedule for each parent’s time with the child. Christina Jimenez and Joshua Floyd of The Jimenez Law Firm explain in a series of videos how a SPO works. In Part Three, the attorneys explain Summer Visitation within 100 miles.

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The Jimenez Law Firm attorneys Christina Jimenez and Josh Floyd discuss child custody cases involving a standard possession order regarding summer visitation within 100 miles. 

At 00:13 This is part three of our series as we break down the standard possession order in Texas.

At 01:04 The person who has the exclusive right to decide where a child lives is the managing conservator. The person visiting the child is the possessory conservator. We’re going to talk about summer visits for parties who live under 100 miles of each other or for those who live within 100 miles of one another.

At 01:45 If you are the possessory conservator, you have to give notice on or before April 1st each year to be able to designate 30 days you want to have your child. You can break it down in different ways. You can have 7 and 23, you can have 10 and 20, 15 and 15.

At 02:15 Whatever you decide, there has to be a minimum of seven days for the period of possession that you have the child, and it can be no more than two periods of possession.

At 02:29 This has to be done in writing. I tell my clients to do it in email, text message, and certified letter. This way there are no issues about whether or not there was sufficient notice given.

At 03:06 Make sure you know the rules of the orders and what is defined as written notice. Each order is different. In recent years, text messages and emails have begun to count, but previously it was by certified letter. You want to know the written possession notice so that you are complying when you give notice for your summer vacation.

At 03:34 If you don’t give notice by April 1st then the possessory conservator gets visitation beginning July 1st and ending July 31st that year. It’s just 30 days in a row. They don’t get to break it up.

At 04:08 The parent who is the managing conservator also has the right to designate weekends during the summer break.

At 04:24 If the managing conservator designates on or before April 15th, they can choose one weekend during the 30-day period of possession that the possessory conservator is otherwise entitled to.

At 04:38 If the possessory conservator doesn’t give notice by April 1st, then the possessory conservator would automatically have the whole month of July by default.

At 04:54 The managing conservator would be able to choose one weekend during that July period of possession. They would have to pick up and drop off from the possessory conservator.

At 05:27 A rule was enacted a few years ago that states the possessory conservator has to tell you the pick-up and drop-off location 15 days in advance. It doesn’t matter if they are in Texas or another state. The managing conservator would have to go to the location at the same beginning and ending times.

At 06:25 Those times would begin at 6:00 pm on Friday and end on Sunday.

At 06:39 The managing conservator can also designate another weekend. The next weekend they get to designate is really their extended summer possession. 

At 06:51 That first weekend is really so the managing conservator doesn’t have to go 30 days without seeing their child. It’s really just a weekend break during the possessory conservator’s summer possession.

At 07:04 The next weekend that the managing conservator gets to designate is their extended summer. Even during the summer, the possessory conservator still gets their first, third, and fifth weekends. The managing conservator gets to take one of those weekends away.

At 07:30 It essentially gives the managing conservator nearly three weeks of consistent possession for their extended summer possession.

At 07:51 If you don’t give notice by April 15th, it’s fine.  You just have to give a 14-day written notice. With the other one, if you fail to give notice by April 15th, you lose it. For both parties, the extended summer possession can’t begin any earlier than the date school’s dismissed and it can’t end any later than seven days before school begins.

At 08:28 You also can’t designate Father’s Day as one of the weekends. If you’re the managing conservator and you’re the dad, you obviously want to elect that weekend. If that falls in your parents’ possession, that’s great.

At 08:54 If you’re the mom, you can’t specifically choose that weekend that you want to exercise during the summer possession because the holiday period possession or the Father’s Day possession is always going to supersede any designation that you can make for the summer period possession.

At 09:11 Always make sure you are aware of dates and setting calendars on your phone so that you give yourself enough time to make these designations.

At 09:52 Make sure you are designating by April 1st. If you’re on the other end, you want to designate by April 15th.

At 09:59 If you are in this situation and you’re trying to go through this standard possession order or navigating any sort of complex litigation in family law make sure that you’re reaching out to a good local attorney that you know specializes in family law or knows a lot about family law so that they can guide you.

At 10:25 A lawyer can also help you interpret your order because your summer visitation may not be a standard possession order. You may not realize that so it is important that you’re referencing your orders at all times and that you have a good attorney that you can visit with.