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Understanding Texas Child Visitation Rights

Child visitation rights go to the non-custodial parent, and it outlines the amount of time the parent is given to spend with his or her child. Visitation is typically handled as part of a larger family law matter such as a divorce, paternity, or child custody case. In this post, our Katy divorce attorney will explain the difference between Standard Possession Orders (SPO) and Expanded Possession Orders (E-SPO), and how they play a role in a non-custodial parent’s visitation plan.

Standard Possession Order

The purpose of an SPO is to not only set a schedule for each parent’s time with the child, but to ensure that it is legally binding. This schedule is found in the parenting plan filed with and approved by the court, which is generally part of a couple’s divorce decree or child custody order. Once the court approves of the plan, it then becomes a parent’s possession and access order. SPOs should be designed in a way that encourages a close relationship with both parents.

A typical SPO for children ages 3 and older includes, but is not limited to:

  • Every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Friday from 6 pm to the following Sunday at 6pm
  • Every Thursday evening during the school year from 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Every other Spring Break
  • Every other Thanksgiving
  • Half of Christmas break, with parents alternating which half they get every other year
  • Thirty days in the summer

Expanded Standard Possession Order

The non-custodial parent may choose to receive make the Standard Possession Order expanded. Under an E-SPO, holiday and summer visitation schedules remain the same, but weekly Thursday visits and 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend visits are extended. Instead of just two hours on Thursdays, the non-custodial parent is given possession rights to have the child from the time he or she is dismissed from school on Thursday to when he or she must return to school Friday. Weekend visits are adjusted to allow visitation from the time the child is released from school on Friday to when he or she returns to school on Monday.

If you fear that your rights as a parent are being violated or threatened in any way, you should not hesitate to contact a proven legal professional who has the skill and experience to successfully protect your best interests.

Have questions? Call Hunt Law Firm, PLLC today at (832) 781-0320 to learn how our Katy divorce attorney can help today.