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What is a Standard Possession Order?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2020 | Divorce |

Texas law allows you and your spouse to devise your own agreed-to parenting plan and visitation schedule when you divorce. The only necessity is that it serve the best interests of your children by giving their noncustodial parent significant time to spend with them. 

However, if you and your spouse cannot agree on a visitation schedule, the Texas Court System explains that a Standard Possession Order becomes the default arrangement. Texas provides an SPO for two situations: when you and your former spouse live fewer than 100 miles away from each other and when you live more than 100 miles away from each other. 

Under 100 miles apart

In this situation, your children’s noncustodial parent has them during the following times: 

  • 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. on the first, third and fifth weekends of each month 
  • 6-8 p.m. every Thursday during the school year 
  • Extended visitation during summer vacation 

More than 100 miles apart

In this situation, the following visitation rules apply with regard to your children’s noncustodial parent: 

  • He or she gets them from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday one weekend out of each month 
  • He or she can choose the weekend, but must give the custodial parent written notice at least three months before the first visitation. 
  • He or she can change the chosen weekend if the need arises, but must give the custodial parent at least two weeks’ notice before the desired change. 
  • He or she gets the children for extended visitation during their spring breaks and summer vacations. 

In terms of major holidays, no matter how far away you and your former spouse live from each other after your divorce, the noncustodial parent gets the children on Thanksgiving and the first half of their Christmas vacation in odd-numbered years. The custodial parent gets them during these times in even-numbered years.