What are the rules are regarding visitation schedules in Texas?
The Texas Legislature has considered the importance of parental involvement in child development and established minimum visitation schedules in Texas. A partial listing of the schedule is set forth below:
- Weekends — beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the first, third and fifth Fridays of each month and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday; Thursday of each week during the regular school term beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m.;
- Christmas — in even-numbered years beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the last school day before the Christmas school vacation begins and ending at noon on December 26; Christmas — in odd-numbered years beginning at noon on December 26 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes;
- Thanksgiving — in odd-numbered years beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for Thanksgiving and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday;
- Spring break — in even-numbered years beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for spring vacation and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes;
- Summer vacation — thirty (30) days to be exercised in no more than two (2) separate periods of at least seven (7) consecutive days;
- Child’s birthday — from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.;
- Mother’s Day/Father’s Day weekend — from 6:00 p.m. Friday to 6:00 p.m. Sunday;
If the visiting parent and the child reside more than 100 miles apart, the visiting parent gets every Spring Break, forty-two (42) days during the summer and the choice of the standard weekends or any weekend selected by the visiting parent.
Also, on the Friday and Thursday visitation, the court may permit the visiting parent to pickup the child at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed and return the child on Monday or Friday morning.
It is well recognized that frequent contact after divorce between a child and each parent optimizes the development of a close and continuing relationship between each parent and the child. Of course, such frequent contact can be hindered if one parent moves after divorce. If the primary parent moves out of the county after divorce, then the primary parent is required to pick up the child at the end of the other parent’s period of possession, at the other parent’s residence.
These guidelines apply to children over three (3) years of age. Some of the Judges are applying the guidelines to children under three (3) years of age and other Judges are not. There are many other provisions of the guidelines not outlined above.
John K. Grubb practices family law in Houston. He has a BBA, MBA, and a JD Degree. John K. Grubb focuses a significant part of his family law practice on helping couples create premarital and prenuptial agreements in Texas.