Summer Possession Schedules and Issues
Summer Possession Schedules and Issues: Tips on BeingGood Co-Parents
In Texas, the Standard Possession Order gives both the custodial and noncustodial parents parenting time for the summer month. That schedule begins when schools release students for summer break, and it goes until seven days before the kids go back to school. During the summer schedule, the noncustodial parent has 30 days of continuous possession. They can use the entire 30 days at once or split it up into two periods at least seven days each. By April 1, noncustodial parents must give notice to the custodial parent about when they plan to use their summer possession time if they have a different 30-day summer schedule, otherwise, the month of July is the default, and the noncustodial parent has possession of the children from the 1stto the 31st of July.
See an Example: Standard Possession and Access (Visitation) Order from Tarrant County
When parents chose the Standard Possession Schedule and Order, the advantage is that everyone is on the same page and can plan their activities. However, unless ordered by the Court, parents can use whatever customized possession schedule fits their needs. They can also go off the possession schedule and take things as they come if it makes sense for everyone involved. This is something that many families experience as kids grow older and parents have been co-parenting well. As things come up with life and busy schedules, it is helpful to compromise scheduling conflicts from time to time and build a good rapport with the other parent.
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And just when it seems like everything is going along well, things can change. New relationships can cause different dynamics and conflict. When it’s necessary, going back to the set possession schedule might be appropriate. An enforcement or modification case is appropriate depending on the circumstances.
At the Barrows Firm in Southlake, attorney Leslie Barrows works with clients to prepare them for co-parenting and learning when to pick and chose their battles as the inevitable conflicts arise overtime and as kids grow older. If it makes sense, Barrows and her clients workout custom possession schedules and plans, and as well they work on modification cases and enforcement actions to get the teeth of the Court involved if necessary.
Confusion Over Possession Schedules
Things get bad when schedules go wrong, get confused, or people’s time is not being respected. Especially when parents make their plans for the children’s summer camp, sports, and other activities, it is important to respect the schedule and stick to the plans. Last-minute changes can screwup the other person’s plans and lead to resentment. When designating summer possession time and schedules, make sure to double-check everything and plan your summer in detail to prevent scheduling conflicts. Everything we can do to be reliable co-parents helps build trust with the other parent and that can goa long way when asking for a favor in the future.
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When the custodial parent receives a proposed summer possession schedule from the other parent, check all the time and with calendars and make sure everything looks good right away. Even though it is the noncustodial parents’ right to choose their dates, if there is something that might be a block, it is worth asking them if the kid can swing back home for this or that or find out if any conflicts can be worked out. When people are reasonable, it is not too difficult to prevent confusion over possession schedules. If, however, there is extensive travel involved or something out of the ordinary arises, it can become necessary to contact your lawyer and more formally discuss the situation to attempt conflict resolution.
Children Spending Valuable Time with their Noncustodial Parent
Summer is a big deal to kids and every summer vacation is something they look forward to all year long. And when children’s parents are not married or living together, summer break means a big chunk of time with the other parent who usually plans something fun. The quality time children spend with their parents during summers is important to making lifetime memories and growing the bonds and relationships between kids and parents.
Often when dad is the non-custodial parent, summer break with his sons and daughters is a special time and like all good dads, he is probably planning summer activities to create great memories and activities where he can give wisdom, ask questions, and get to know what is going on with his children and their lives. Dads don’t always say they are about to dispense wisdom, they just hope their kids are listening and some of it seeps in.
Adjustment Issues when Kids Don’t Want to Go or Leave
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Remember how long a month was when you were a child or teenager, it was forever long. Preparing for a month at the other parent’s house is a bigger deal to them than it might seem to us. Being away from friends can be an important issue for kids and making new friends when at the other parent’s house is also something that makes them not want to leave and go home. Parents need to be flexible and understanding with their children about expectations and maintaining relationships, not to mention all their extracurricular activities. A good co-parent will accommodate a ride across town or some other kids coming over to see your son or daughter who needs to keep themselves current with whatever kid-centered focus of the day.
The overall goal is to be flexible in working well with co-parents and kids and schedules. Remember to put things in perspective and consider what your children want, and what may be appropriate for their age and circumstances. Sometimes kids want to stay with the other parent long-term and that is quite another discussion, and as the children grow older, they might express their wishes to live with the other parent on a primary basis.
Modifying and Enforcing Visitation and Possession Orders
In the event a child wants to live with the other parent, it might be a conversation. It all depends on age and circumstances. If for example the son is turning 17 and wants to live with dad, that may be a different conversation than if the son were 12. If everyone is on board, they can try out a change in living situations and make it permanent with a modified visitation order. Remember that some parents go off formal possession orders over time and do their own thing, but even in that case, some may want a modified order. If in agreement, the parties can file a case with the Court to have the new agreement accepted and ordered by the judge.
It might also be necessary to file an enforcement action if another party is not complying with the terms of the order. Sometimes when one parent remarries and has a blended family with busy schedules or there are personal problems, your family lawyer needs to file an enforcement lawsuit to ask the Court for relief in forcing the other party to comply with the Court’s Orders.
Call the Barrows Firm for Summer Possession Schedules and Issues (817) 481-1583