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What is a Standard Possession Order?

If you and your spouse cannot agree on a custody, visitation and parenting plan arrangement for your children after your divorce, Texas law includes a Standard Possession Order that will go into effect.

The Texas Court System explains that this default arrangement when parents cannot agree sets forth a detailed visitation schedule for both situations in which you and your former spouse may find yourselves.

Residences fewer than 100 miles distant

If you and (s)he live fewer than 100 miles away from each other after your divorce, the Standard Possession Order calls for visitation by the noncustodial parent as follows:

  • First, third and fifth weekends of each month from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday
  • Every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. during your children’s school year
  • Extended visitation during their summer vacation

Residences more than 100 miles distant

Should you and your former spouse maintain residences 100 or more miles away from each other after your divorce, the SPO provides for the following:

  • Your children will visit their noncustodial parent one weekend each month from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday all year long.
  • Their NCP can choose which weekend (s)he wants, but (s)he must give the custodial parent written notice of this choice at least three months in advance.
  • If the NCP wishes to change his or her visitation weekend, (s)he must give the CP at least two weeks’ notice of the new visitation weekend.
  • The NCP gets extended visitation during your children’s summer vacations and spring breaks.

Regardless of how far apart you and your former spouse live after your divorce, your children will spend Thanksgiving and the beginning half of their Christmas vacation with the NCP in odd-numbered years. In even-numbered years, they will spend these times with their custodial parent.

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