The Standard Possession Order and the Visitation Calendars
Texas uses a standardized visitation schedule (the "Standard Possession Order") for visitation with a child or children when a couple divorces. Generally speaking, if the parents live no more than 100 miles apart, the Standard Possession Order allows visitation every Thursday night during the regular school term; the first, third and (if there is one) fifth weekends of each month throughout the year; and a block of time in the summer. Major holidays are either split or alternate yearly.
The Standard Possession Order has different provisions when the parents live more than 100 miles apart. These calendars should be used only when the parents live no more than 100 miles apart.
Even though the Standard Possession Order is standardized, there are some choices a parent can make. These choices include what time the child is picked up, whether the child stays overnight on Thursday, and whether weekend visitation ends Sunday evening or Monday morning.
This website allows the user to select from the permitted choices. Once the user finishes his or her selections and pays for the purchase, the selected calendar automatically downloads. It can then by synced with the user's iPhone or iPad.
The Calendar's Display
The Standard Possession Order is complex. Rather than show each visitation time and date – many of which would overlap – these calendars combine visitation periods to present a seamless calendar showing when the parent with visitation is entitled to have the child. The only exceptions occur when a parent both picks up and returns a child on the same day. In that instance, two entries are present for that day.
The Texas Family Code states that holiday visitation provisions preempt the normal Thursday and weekend visitation periods when there is a conflict between them. In some instances, more than one visitation provision will apply to a given day, yet there will be no conflict between them. For example, summer visitation might end on the fifth Friday of a month, in which case summer visitation would be extended through the weekend per the usual weekend visitation provision. Rather than "stack" such entries on top of each other, the calendars avoid confusion by combining the complementary visitation periods into one, seamless period of time.
More About Visitation and Visitation Choices
Weekend visitation can begin either when the child's school recesses for the day or at 6:00 p.m. It can end at 6:00 p.m. Sunday or when the child's school resumes on Monday morning.
Thursday visitation begins either when the child's school recesses for the day or at 6:00 p.m. It can end at 8:00 p.m. or when the child's school resumes on Friday morning.
Thanksgiving and Christmas visitation begin either when the child's school recesses for the holiday or at 6:00 p.m. that day.
Because the time of day a child's school recesses varies by school and school district, the calendars set that time at 3:00 p.m. as a likely time of day. Likewise, the time of day a child's school day begins varies. The calendars set that time at 8:00 a.m. as the most likely time of day.
Holiday visitation (such as Thanksgiving and Christmas) supersede the usual first, third and fifth weekend visitation and Thursday night visitation when there is a conflict between them.
Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. Thanksgiving visitation alternates each year. The parent with visitation rights has the odd–numbered years. Thanksgiving visitation ends at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. Schools and school districts vary on the date school is recessed for the Thanksgiving holiday. The calendars assume that the Thanksgiving holiday begins on Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. If school recesses for the Thanksgiving holiday earlier than Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, then Thanksgiving visitation will preempt the usual the usual weekend visitation when there is a conflict between them.
Christmas visitation is divided into two periods which alternate annually. The first period is from the day school recesses until noon on December 28. The second period is from noon on December 28 until 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes after the Christmas holiday. In even–numbered years, the parent with visitation rights has the first half of the Christmas holiday. In odd–numbered years, that parent has the second half of the Christmas holiday.
Mother's Day is the second Sunday in May. If the mother is the parent with visitation rights, she will have weekend visitation with the child even if Mother's Day weekend falls on the second weekend of May.
Father's Day is the third Sunday in June. If the father is the parent with visitation rights, he will have weekend visitation with the child even if Father's Day weekend falls on the second weekend of June.
When a weekend visitation period is preceded by a Friday school holiday or teacher in–service day, then visitation begins on Thursday rather than Friday. When a weekend visitation period is followed by a Monday school holiday or teacher in–service day, then visitation ends Tuesday rather than Monday. The calendars include the following holidays: Labor Day (first Monday in September), MLK Day (third Monday in January) and President's Day (third Monday in February). The parent with visitation rights always has Labor Day weekend but never Memorial Day weekend, so Memorial Day (last Monday in May) is not included in the App. MLK Day and President's Day sometimes fall on visitation weekends and sometimes do not.
Customizing the Visitation Calendar
One of the parents will have the child on the child's birthday. The parent who does not have the child may have the child from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. that day. The calendar should be customized by inserting birthdays.
Texas schools recess for Spring Break the first, second or third week in March. The dates for Spring Break are not included in the calendars because they vary so much and are subject to change. The parent with visitation has the child the week of Spring Break in even–numbered years. The parent may pick up the child when school recesses for Spring Break or at 6:00 p.m. that day. The parent may return the child at 6:00 p.m. the day before school resumes after Spring Break or return the child to school the following morning. When Spring Break becomes know for each child each year, the user should customize the calendar for that year by entering Spring Break into the calendar.
The dates for Christmas vacation differ among Texas schools. The calendars assume that the child's school recesses for the Christmas vacation on December 23, or if December 23 falls on a weekend, on the Friday before December 23. The calendars assume that the child's school resumes on January 3 unless January 3 falls on a weekend, in which case school resumes on the Monday following January 3.
Thursday visitation takes place only during the regular school term. Texas schools differ on when school begins in the fall and recesses for the summer. The calendars assume that the fall school term begins on the Tuesday following Labor Day and that the spring term ends on the Friday before Memorial Day. Once dates for a particular school year have been determined, the user can customize the calendar by changing these dates as necessary.
When a weekend visitation period is preceded by a Friday teacher in–service day, then visitation begins on Thursday rather than Friday. When a weekend visitation period is followed by a Monday teacher in–service day, then visitation ends Tuesday rather than Monday. The calendar should be customized to include these days in weekend visitation once the child's school has published its schedule each year.
Absent an election by the parent with visitation rights by April 1 of each year, that parent has visitation with the child from 6:00 p.m. July 1 to 6:00 p.m. July 31, except that if the custodial parent gives notice by April 15, the custodial parent is entitled to one weekend with the child during the month of July. The calendars set aside the month of July for visitation. Should the custodial parent give a weekend notice, the calendar should be customized to reflect that choice.
For more information about notices and further, non–standard options for summer visitation, see Texas Family Code section 153.312(b)(2) by clicking on the SPO Text tab.
In Year view, the calendars show days blacked out; in Day and Week view, days and parts of days are blacked out. However, the calendars do not show days or parts of days blacked out in Month view in OS X versions prior to 10.8. This is an artifact of Apple's Calendar app and not of our calendars.
Because the Standard Possession Order is so complex, each calendar was hand–coded: It proved impossible to construct a formula that would account for every visitation time and date. Consequently, a change to any possession period will be unique to that period: The user cannot, for example, change Thursday visitation pickup from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and elect to make that change throughout the calendar. If the parents agree to change visitation times and dates, or a court orders them changed, a new calendar must be purchased that includes the changed times or dates.
If you experience any issues or problems with our calendars, or just have a question, send us an email.
We guarantee our calendars. If you aren't satisfied with your purchase for any reason, we will refund your money.