Originally published by On behalf of Laura Dale.
It’s not too early to be thinking about summer and your plans with the children. You may have a trip in mind, visits to distant relatives or other arrangements to make. Don’t be too quick to make reservations and travel plans if you share custody of the children with their other parent. There are certain steps you must take before changing your possession order.
Creating a workable plan for possession of and access to children is often one of the most difficult parts of a marital breakup. Unfortunately, life is not predictable, and it is sometimes necessary to adjust the schedule. Your summer plans may present unusual circumstances that interfere with your co-parent’s scheduled time with the kids. April is the ideal time to make important decisions about those temporary summer changes in your parenting plan.
What do summer possession plans look like?
You may be among the fortunate parents who worked together to create a unique plan to accommodate the special circumstances in your family. On the other hand, if you and your former partner were unable to reach an agreement, the court probably stepped in an issued a standard possession order. Typically, this alternates special holidays on even and odd years and allows the non-custodial parent to have possession of the children during the month of July.
However, what if your plans for summer fall outside of the weeks between July 1 and July 31? If you want the children at some other time over the summer, you must notify your parenting partner as early as possible in April. The other parent also has the right to be with the children for one weekend during your extended possession. Scheduling your summer plans right now makes it easier for both you and the other parent to arrange dates that will suit everyone.
Fighting for your rights this summer
Departing from your possession order is not always easy, especially if your parenting partner is not willing to cooperate. However, you have rights as a parent, and in most cases, Texas family courts support your right to access to your child.
If you are fighting to extend your standard possession of the children over the summer, you may find the effort frustrating. You may benefit from learning more about your rights and obtaining the strong and compassionate advocacy of a Texas attorney who will assist you in reaching your goals.