I am looking forward to summer. More time with the kiddo and not getting up quite so early. First year of high school wore me out with the 7:15 a.m. start time and a kiddo who likes to get to school at 6:20. a.m. She gets that from her dad.
As I did last year, this is a reminder, quick summary and more detail for families where the children have extended summer visitation with one parent.
Just a reminder for families where one parent have extended summer visitation with your children in Texas: it’s time to make your request. In most court orders and decrees, Monday, April 1, 2019 is the deadline for the parents who exercise extended periods of visitation in the summer.. If you do not make a request, your extended visitation defaults to whatever the decree or order says. If you are the parent who does not exercise extended summer visitation, you must request your weekend or whatever period of time the order or decree dictates by April 15, 2019. There are loopholes if you don’t make a request by April 15, 2019 but read your decree or order carefully to determine the specifics.
Reminder-Most decrees and orders state that visitation is by mutual agreement of the parties. The Standard Possession Order, Modified Possession Order, or whatever the Possession Order set forth in the decree or order is called kicks in if the parties are unable to mutually agree.
The steps below are from an article I wrote last year. You will find them helpful if this is your first summer with extended summer visitation or if you have concerns or questions about how things went last summer.
To keep things simple, I will refer to the parents as follows:
Moore: Managing conservator, custodial parent, primary conservator, sole custodian, similar language per the final decree or order, may be the parent the kiddo spends more time with per the decree or order.
Leslie: Possessory conservator, non-custodial parent, secondary conservator, similar language per the final decree or visitation order, may be the parent kiddo spends less time with per the decree or order.
Step 1-Basic Questions
Review your final decree or visitation order and answer the following questions:
NOTE, the document may state that it follows the standard possession order.
However, the specifics of your final decree or visitation order trump the standard possession order.
Step 2-Review Relevant Statute and Your Decree or Order
If your final decree or visitation order is the standard possession order, you’ll follow the standards set by the statutes. Orders and decrees may not be the same as what you see listed in the statute. If extended summer visitation follows the statute, it also depends on how far away a parent resides from the child. Please click the links below to read the Texas statutes.
100 miles or less from your child OR more than 100 miles from your child
NOTE, Please reread your decree or order. One more time and say it altogether, “my decree or order takes precedence and may differ from the standard possession order found in Texas statutes.”
Double-check deadlines, time periods and restrictions depending on the distance. These could include but are not exclusive to locations and details for pick-up or the dates within which the extended visit must be scheduled.
Step 3-Written Notice by Deadlines
Leslie’s Deadline-April 1, 2019*
Your decree or order may have different deadlines.
(Non-custodial Parent, Possessory Join Managing Conservator, Less time with the kiddo)
April 1, 2019-Leslie must give written notice to Moore if she wants extended summer visitation divided into no more than two periods. An e-mail or communication through OurFamilyWizard, TalkingParents or similar App should suffice. If Leslie does not provide notice, visitation is automatically set from 6:00 p.m. July 1, 2019 to 6:00 p.m. July 31, 2019 if Leslie resides 100 miles or less from the child OR from 6 p.m. on June 15 to 6 p.m. on July 27 if Leslie resides more than 100 miles from the child. If Leslie makes the request timely, she can split the days between two visits regardless of how far she lives from the child.
For the standard possession order, Father’s Day is considered a holiday and it supersedes any visitation request regardless of distance so the kiddo can see Dad that weekend. The 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends and other visitation periods under the standard possession order still apply when the kiddo isn’t visiting Leslie during summer break and Leslie isn’t exercising extended summer visitation. Generally, summer visitation does not include weeknights while school is out.
Moore’s Deadline-April 15, 2019*
Your decree or order may have different deadlines.
(Custodial Parent, Primary Join Managing Conservator, More time with the kiddo)
April 15, 2019-Moore may give Leslie written notice of a period he would like to see the child during the extended summer visitation period requested or the one automatically set by statute. If Leslie and Moore reside 100 miles or less apart, Moore gets one weekend from 6:00 p.m. Friday to 6:00 p.m. Sunday. If a request is not made by April 15, 2019 and the distance is 100 miles or less, Moore may give 14 days notice for one weekend visitation but it may not interfere with Leslie’s 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend visitation or other regular visitation. Don’t forget the kiddo always spends Father’s Day weekend with Dad.
If a request is made by April 15, 2019 and Leslie and Moore reside more than a 100 miles from each other, Moore may make a written request for a period of up to 21 days split between no more than two time periods or for two non-consecutive weekends. Once again, there are also restrictions for periods where regular visitation is exercised outside of the extended summer periods and Father’s Day.
There is NO default for Moore when he resides more than 100 miles from Leslie if he doesn’t submit a written request by April 15. If Moore does not make the optional request by April 15, 2018, he will not get to see the kiddo during Leslie’s extended summer visitation, unless Father’s Day falls during the period.
Step 4-Enjoy the Summer!
Whatever your summer plans, remember it’s still summer for the child no matter the relationship you do or do not have with the other parent. Avoid turning summer visitation planning into a battle. Ask yourself, “is it really necessary to go to court to determine the exact weekend or month the kiddo will spend with me?” Save the money and go to an amusement park or send the kiddo to art lessons.
Texas Family Code Section. 153.312: 100 miles or less from your child
Texas Family Code Section. 153.313: More than 100 miles from your child
Submit your written request to the other parent by the deadline.
And most importantly, have a SAFE and HAPPY summer!
Please contact Sarah at email@example.com for questions about Extended Summer Visitation or any family law concerns.