Monday, August 27, 2012

Can I Designate a Different Summer Vacation Schedule in Texas?

As noted in a separate blog entry, under the Texas Standard Possession Schedule, the parent with whom the child does not primarily reside (called a “possessory conservator”), can have the child for up to 30 days if the parents live less than 100 miles apart.  If the parents reside over 100 miles apart, the possessory conservator can possess the child for up to 42 days.

The Texas statutes set up a “default period” for summer possession.  However, Texas Standard Possession Schedule allows the possessory conservator to designate the specific days for summer possession, provided he or she does so in writing by April 1st of that calendar year.  These extended summer vacation visits must not be over more than two separate periods and must be at least seven days in length.

These extended periods of summer vacation should be discussed and coordinated with the other parent.  Under the Texas Standard Possession Schedule, the managing conservator (the parent with whom the child primarily resides) can designate one or two specific weekends to have possession of the child during the extended summer periods of possession designated by the possessory conservator (depending on how far apart the parents live).  This designation must be given in writing on or before April 15th of that calendar year, and cannot interfere with the father’s right to possession of a child on Father’s Day.

By:  Cynthia W. Veidt, attorney and Erin Zeiss.