Last Updated on January 13, 2024 by Benson Varghese
If you share child visitation with your ex in Texas, get ready to mark your calendars – or just print out the one below. We created this 2024 Texas Standard Possession Calendar to make it easier for you to keep track of your visitation rights as outlined in the Texas Family Code.
This calendar specifies the custodial and noncustodial parents’ visitation schedules, including weekends, holidays, spring break, summer vacation, and other important events in your child’s life. Consider this article and calendar as your go-to resource for planning out precious time with your kids.
- The 2024 Texas Standard Possession Order provides noncustodial parents with possession on the first, third, and fifth weekends each month, along with alternating holidays and a month of summer possession.
- Schedules may allow customization for parents living within 50 miles of each other, as well as distinct guidelines for parents residing more than 100 miles apart to accommodate distance-related challenges.
- Failure to comply with a court-ordered possession schedule can lead to legal action, such as filing a motion for enforcement, which may result in consequences including fines or even jail time.
Understanding the 2024 Texas Standard Possession Calendar
The 2024 Texas Standard Possession Calendar serves as the standard child visitation schedule, which courts typically uphold in the absence of any other agreement. This calendar helps parents understand when they have visitation of their child so they can effectively manage co-parenting responsibilities. The goal is to keep the child’s best interest at heart while ensuring both parents get fair and ample time with their child.
Under Texas law, the standard possession order specifies that noncustodial parents have possession on the first, third, and fifth weekends of each month, in addition to alternating holidays. Additionally, they are granted one month of possession during the summer. This arrangement offers a structured approach to custody, providing consistency and predictability for both the parents and the child.
Standard Possession Order 50 Miles Apart or Less
When parents reside within 50 miles of each other in Texas, the non-custodial parent has the option to choose the “default” Standard Possession Order or an “election” option that offers different and expanded possession times. The default option typically includes 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends, a weeknight visit, and alternating holidays. However, the expanded election option allows for more extended time with your child, like longer weekends and possibly more weekday visits. This can be a great choice if you’re looking to maximize your quality time together. Remember, each family’s situation is unique, so consider what works best for you and your child when making this decision.
Texas Standard Possession Order- Default (formerly the expanded possession order)
|Non Expanded Possession Order (Election)
|First, third and fifth weekend beginning when school lets out Friday and until school resumes on Monday.
First, third and fifth weekends from 6 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Sunday
|Pickup at the time school is dismissed and drop-off at the time school resumes on Friday.
Pickup at 6 p.m. on Thursday and drop-off at 8 p.m.
|Alternates yearly between parents, from the time when school lets out for Spring Break until 6 p.m. the night before school resumes.
Alternates yearly between parents, from 6 p.m. on day school lets out until 6 p.m. the night before school resumes.
|Alternates yearly between parents. Pickup is when school lets out for Thanksgiving break and drop-off at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Alternates yearly between parents. Pickup time is 6 p.m. on the day school lets out and drop off is 6 p.m. on Sunday.
|Christmas Break (Even Numbered Years)
|Alternates yearly between parents. Pickup is when school lets out for Christmas break and drop-off at noon on December 28.
|Alternates yearly between parents. Pickup time is 6 p.m. on the day school is dismissed and drop-off at noon on December 28.
|Christmas Break (Odd Number Years)
|Pickup at noon on December 28 and drop off at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes for the holiday.
Pickup at noon on December 28 and drop off on the day before school resumes for the holiday.
|Mom picks up child when school lets out Friday and returns child when school resumes Monday after Mother’s Day.
Mom picks up child at 6 p.m. Friday and returns child 6 p.m. on Mother’s Day.
|Pickup at 6 p.m. on the Friday before Father’s Day and drop-off is 8 a.m. on the Monday after Father’s Day.
Father picks up child at 6 p.m. on Friday and returns child at 6 p.m. on Father’s Day.
|Weekend Visitation Followed by Monday Student Holiday or Teacher In-Service Day
|Drop-off at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
|Drop-off at 6 p.m. Monday.
Standard Possession Order 51 to 100 Miles Apart
When parents live 51 to 100 miles apart in Texas, the noncustodial parent is provided with options when completing the standard possession order: “default” or “election.” The standard arrangement for the noncustodial parent is for the pickup to occur at 6 p.m. on Friday and drop off Sunday at 6 p.m. The noncustodial parent may also have the child on Thursday evening during the school year from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
If the expanded election option is in place, it specifies that pickup is at the time school is dismissed for the weekend and drop-off is at the time school resumes after the weekend during the school session. On Thursdays, pickup is at the school at the time school is dismissed and drop-off is at the time school resumes on Friday.
Standard Possession Order Over 100 Miles Apart
The guidelines for visitation arrangements vary slightly for parents residing more than 100 miles apart, accommodating the parents for increased distance and travel considerations. On weekends, noncustodial parents must choose between the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends of each month or one weekend a month of the noncustodial parent’s choice.
The noncustodial parent also has the opportunity to select a “default” or “election” option when the terms of the order are being settled. The default option specifies pickup on Friday at 6 p.m. and drop off Sunday at 6 p.m. The election option specifies pickup at the time school is dismissed for the weekend and drop-off at the time school resumes after the weekend during the school term. When school is not in session, pickup is on Friday at 6 p.m. and drop off is Sunday at 6 p.m.
Weekend Possession Extended by a Holiday
There are times throughout the year when a weekend period of possession begins on a school holiday or a teacher in-service day falls on a Friday during the regular school term. In these instances, the weekend period of possession begins at 6 p.m. on the immediately preceding Thursday.
By the same token, there are times when the weekend period of possession ends on or is immediately followed by a student holiday or a teacher in-service day that falls on a Monday during the regular school term. In this instances, that weekend period of possession ends at 6 p.m. on that Monday.
During the summer, if a weekend period of possession ends on or is immediately followed by a federal, state, or local holiday that falls on a Monday during the summer months when school is not in session, that weekend period of possession ends at 6:00 p.m. on that Monday.
2024 Texas Standard Possession: Spring, Summer & Winter Holiday Breaks
The 2024 Standard Possession Calendar also lays out specific dates for the following breaks:
- Spring Break
- Summer Break
- Thanksgiving Break
- Christmas break
Below we explain the 2024 possession schedule for each of these breaks during the year.
Spring Break Possession in 2024
Under the Standard Possession Order, parents who live within 100 miles of each other alternate years for spring break visitation. Kids stay with the custodial parent in odd-numbered years and stay with the noncustodial parent in even-numbered years.
So, in 2024, the noncustodial parent is entitled to possession of the child during Spring Break, beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school and concluding at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes. For example, the Fort Worth Independent School District’s Spring Break begins on March 8th and concludes on March 17, with designated pickup at 6 p.m. on Thursday and drop-off at 6 p.m. on Sunday the 17th. (Note: these dates could be different depending on your school district’s schedule.)
If parents live more than 100 miles apart, the non-custodial parent, also called the possessory conservator, gets the children every year for spring break. This is because he or she doesn’t get the same parenting time during the year as parents who live closer.
Note that the holiday possession period during Spring Break 2024 takes precedence over the regular custody schedule. Yet, co-parents can mutually agree to a schedule that deviates from the standard order for Spring Break possession in 2024, if both parties agree.
2024 Summer Break Possession
Summer provides an opportunity for parents to spend extended time with their child. The standard summer possession schedule for noncustodial parents in Texas consists of 30 days of continuous possession, which can be selected by the noncustodial parent in no more than 2 separate periods of at least 7 consecutive days each. However, it is the responsibility of the noncustodial parent to provide notice to the other parent by April 1st of the year for the 30 days of summer possession they choose. If the noncustodial parent does not provide notice by April 1st, the noncustodial parent’s summer visitation automatically defaults to July 1st at 6:00 p.m. to July 31st at 6:00 p.m.
The custodial parent may designate one weekend during the noncustodial parent’s extended summer possession time if they send notice by April 15th of the elected weekend, and provided that the designated weekend does not interfere with Father’s Day weekend.
The custodial parent may also designate one weekend during the noncustodial parent’s regular weekend summer possession time if they send 14 days written notice on or after April 16th to the noncustodial parent of the elected weekend, and provided that the designated weekend does not interfere with the noncustodial parent’s extended summer possession time or Father’s Day possession time.
Thanksgiving Break Possession in 2024
The Texas family code designates that children spend alternate years with each parent during major holidays, including Christmas and Thanksgiving. During even-numbered years, custodial parents have the children over Thanksgiving break. So since 2024 is an even-numbered year, the custodial parent – or primary parent – has the kids beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child’s school is released for the Thanksgiving break and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. The parties will then go back to following the regular Standard Possession Order. The next year, it swaps so noncustodial parents will have the children over Thanksgiving in 2025.
Christmas Break Possession in 2024
Like Thanksgiving, Christmas possession alternates between custodial and noncustodial parents. During the child’s winter break, the custodial parent – also referred to as the primary parent- will have the first half of the break during odd-numbered years, while the non-custodial parent, or non-primary parent, will have the second half of the child’s Christmas break. The next year, their schedules will flip.
So, in 2024 – because it is an even-numbered year – Texas noncustodial parents will have possession of the child during the first half of Christmas break beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child’s school is dismissed for winter break and ending at noon on December 28th. While the custodial parents will have the second half of the break, beginning at noon on December 28th and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes.
This arrangement guarantees that both parents can enjoy the Christmas season with their child(ren) over the years.
Visitation on Your Child’s Birthday
As you know, birthdays fall on different days each year, meaning it may be on a Sunday one year, a Monday the next, and a Tuesday the year after that. You get the idea. Under the Texas Family Code, the parent who doesn’t have possession of the child on the day that falls on their birthday is entitled to have possession of the child from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., as long as the parent pickles them up and returns the child to the same location.
Customizing Your Child Visitation Schedule
Although the Texas Standard Possession Calendar provides standardized guidelines, it’s not right for every family. Unique family dynamics may necessitate adjustments to the standard possession order, such as long-distance parenting or families with special needs children.
Parents are allowed to create a custom holiday possession schedule if they can agree on an arrangement that works better for their needs. By working together to develop a tailored possession and access schedule, parents can ensure that their children’s best interests are prioritized while maintaining strong and healthy relationships with both parents. If you and the co-parent agree on a schedule different from the court order, it’s important to get it in writing until you can modify the original order.
Factors to Consider
There are several key factors that parents should consider when customizing their child custody schedule including:
- The age of a child can have an impact on the customization of a custody schedule. School-age children may have specific routines and activities that must be taken into account, requiring parents to adjust pickup times or make provisions for extracurricular activities.
- The work schedules of parents can influence the customization of a custody schedule, necessitating coordination and adjustment of the schedule to suit their work hours.
- The proximity of parents’ residences can have a substantial influence on the practicality of a personalized custody schedule.
- Specific considerations, like a child’s extracurricular activities or medical needs, can also necessitate the need for a customized custody schedule, requiring effective parent communication and flexibility.
What Happens When Parents Don’t Comply with the Court-Ordered Possession Schedule?
Failure to comply with a court-ordered visitation schedule can lead to legal consequences. If a parent fails to adhere to the court-ordered possession order in Texas, the other parent can initiate legal action by filing a Motion for Enforcement with the local family court. This motion specifically asks the court to enforce the previously set terms of the custody arrangement. A hearing will be set and the court can then take various actions to ensure compliance.
It is important to gather evidence of non-compliance by being present at the specified location, date, and time when required and, if possible, have a witness accompany you to observe the non-compliance. When filing a Motion for Enforcement of Possession and Access, it is essential to include evidence of the violation, such as documents, witness testimonies, or any other pertinent evidence. The potential legal consequences for failing to adhere to a court-ordered possession schedule in Texas may include fines and even jail time.
Visitation Issues? We Can Help.
Navigating child visitation schedules can be complicated, but with clear communication, flexibility, and a focus on the child’s best interest, parents can create a successful possession schedule. The 2024 Texas Standard Possession Calendar provides a good foundation for parents to build upon. However, parents also have the flexibility to customize their schedules to better suit their unique circumstances.
If you need help with custody or visitation issues, contact Varghese Summersett Family Law Group today at 817-900-3220 to schedule a consultation. We will explain the Texas Standard Possession Order and work to find a parenting schedule that is right for you. We will facilitate the best possible custody arrangement for you and your child.