The parents may make decisions regarding who gets the children on certain holidays, or state laws may apply. Of course, it’s best if parents can come to a mutual agreement. In fact, it should be the goal (as much as possible) to work together on any issue surrounding the children.
How the Standard Possession Order May Impact Holiday Schedule
In most cases the court will ensure that both parents’ rights are taken into account when it comes to visitation. However, the child’s best interest takes greater importance.
Texas may enforce their standard possession order when it comes to visitation rights of the noncustodial parent. How this works depends on the distance between both parents. For instance, if they live within 100 miles from each other, holidays—such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter—are alternated. So one year the mother might get that holiday and the next the father would.
The same schedule for holidays usually applies if the parents live more than 100 miles from each other, but it may affect other types of visitation. An example is the weekend schedule.
Under the standard possession order, when parents are within 100 miles the noncustodial parent gets the first, third and fifth weekend of every month. When living further than 100 miles, it could be the same but it’s also possible to reduce this to one weekend each month.
These are just some examples in which a schedule may impact child custody. So it’s not just holidays that have to be worked out, but midweek visitation, summer and spring breaks.
These orders are not set in stone. In other words, they can be revised by the court based on the child’s best interest. For instance, it may be considered too disruptive for infants or very young children to rotate homes on a frequent basis. This may not affect the holiday schedule, though.
Incorporating a Parenting Plan to Determine the Amount of Time a Child Spends With Each Parent
Some of the issues that may be addressed in a parenting plan include:
- list of holidays, vacations, birthdays, breaks and how that time is split;
- how the exchange of children will take place (picking up and dropping off);
- how costs will be split (school supplies, extracurricular activities);
- who will make day-to-day decisions; and
- how bigger decisions will be handled.
When parents are having difficulty coming up with a workable parenting plan or agreeing upon specifics (such as holidays), the court may appoint what is called a parenting coordinator. This person helps to resolve disagreements that are highly contentious. Otherwise, the parents can work it out themselves.
An attorney can represent a parent’s rights when creating a joint custody or visitation schedule, as well as in other matters related to child custody and family law. Call 888-584-9614 or fill out our contact form to set up a consultation with an attorney.