Texas Summer Visitation Explained

Summer break is almost upon us. Kids will be out of school before we know it which, for divorced parents, means it’s time to sort out summer possession schedules.

You may be left wondering: Am I the managing conservator or the possessory conservator? When are my elections due? Who gets Father’s Day?

If after reviewing the Texas Standard Possession Schedule you feel more confused than ever, you’re not alone.

Don’t worry. We have the answers and are ready to help you understand these summer visitation codes.

Who is the managing conservator?

If you have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child (i.e., the child lives with you the majority of the time), that makes you the managing conservator. The managing conservator also has responsibility for the normal day to day care of the child. This parent is sometimes referred to as the custodial or primary parent; we will refer to this party as the primary conservator for purposes of this article.

Who is the possessory conservator?

If you have a possession schedule, that makes you the possessory conservator. Normally possessory conservators reserve the right to access the child on a defined schedule. This parent is sometimes referred to as the non-custodial parent; we will refer to this party as the possessory conservator for purposes of this article.

What is extended summer possession?

Extended summer possession is normally the period during the child’s summer break that allows the possessory conservator to have the child stay with them for a longer amount of time. This period can begin the day after school lets out for summer break and end one week before school resumes, so the child has time to get ready for school to start again.

If the managing conservator and possessory conservator live less than 100 miles apart:

  • The possessory conservator is allowed to select up to 30 days as their extended summer possession, but they must give a written notice to the primary conservator by April 1st. This notice should specify which days they choose for their extended summer possession.
  • The possessory conservator is allowed to designate up to 2 periods of possession during the child’s summer break.
  • If the possessory conservator fails to provide written notice by April 1st, they will have July 1st to July 31st as their extended summer period of possession with the child.
  • If the primary conservator gives the possessory conservator written notice by April 15th, the primary conservator can have the child on any one weekend during the possessory conservator’s extended summer period of possession. The primary conservator may also choose one weekend (that they would not normally have possession, usually a first, third, or fifth weekend of the month) during the summer to exercise possession, as long as they provide the possessory conservator at least two weeks’ advance notice.

If the custodial and non-custodial parents live more than 100 miles apart:

  • Notice days for extended summer possession selection for parents who live further than 100 miles apart is the same as that for parents who live closer: April 1st and April 15th.
  • The possessory conservator may designate up to 42 days for their extended summer possession period of selection, to be exercised in up to two separate periods of time.
  • If the possessory conservator fails to give a written notice by April 1st, they will have June 15th to July 27th as their extended summer period of possession.
  • If the possessory conservator decides to choose periods less than 30 days for extended summer possession, the primary conservator can choose any one weekend during that extended summer, so long as notice is provided by April 15th, and the primary conservator picks up and returns the child to the possessory conservator.
  • If the possessory conservator chooses at least one period with more than 30 days for extended summer possession, the primary conservator  may designate up to 2 weekends, so long as notice is provided by April 15th, and the primary conservator picks up and returns the child to the possessory conservator. These two weekends cannot be in a row.
  • Additionally, the primary conservator may designate by April 15th up to 21 days of their own extended summer period of possession, so long as this does not interfere with the possessory parent’s extended summer period of possession. The 21 days can be split in two periods of at least 7 days each during the summer, during which the possessory conservator cannot exercise possession.

Who gets Father’s Day?

Dad gets Father’s Day. If Dad is the primary conservator, the possessory conservator cannot request the weekend of Father’s Day for visitation. If Dad is the possessory conservator, Father’s day does not replace a weekend period of possession.

Remember to always refer back to your court order as days and times may vary.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you need assistance working out a summer visitation schedule between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse or you would like to request a modification, our lawyers are available to discuss your case with you. We have the experience and education necessary to pursue your case and resolve the matter at hand. Our lawyers will take the time to become familiar with your unique situation and will help to ease the burdens you face.

If you need help with your possession schedule, contact The Carlson Law Firm to talk to one of our skilled Family Law Attorneys. We serve family law clients in Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, Milam Williamson, and Travis Counties.

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