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What is a possession order in Texas?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2021 | Child Custody

Going through a custodial case can be a stressful and emotional process, especially if you are a non-custodial parent. Texas law provides guidelines over possession orders that are in the best interest of the child and the parents. Read on to find out more about possession orders and how they work.

What is a possession order?

Visitation and custody, which are technically called access and possession in Texas, involve a court order that governs the time a parent spends with a child. The Texas Family Code 153.252 presumes that it is in the child’s best interest to spend some time with both parents. You can agree with the other parent on how this possession works by yourselves, but if you can’t, a Standard Possession Order, or SPO, will outline a schedule that you must follow.

SPO schedule in Texas

If you and the other parent reside within 100 miles of each other, then the non-custodial parent gets the first, third and fifth weekends of every month with the child. On top of that, they can also see the child every Thursday evening of the school year and alternating holidays. Then, during summer, the parent is entitled to spend 30 days with the child.

Alternatively, if the non-custodial and custodial parents live 100 miles apart, the non-custodial parent will get the first, third or fifth weekend of every month with the child. If that doesn’t work for them, they can choose any one weekend in the month, but they have to give the custodial parents a telephone or written notice 14 days prior. The non-custodial parent doesn’t have a right to see the child during the week of the school year; instead, they are entitled to 42 days on summer holidays with the child.

If one parent is not complying with the SPO order, then the other can file for Motion to Enforce under Texas Family Code chapter 157.002. However, before you do this, make sure you have proof that the other parent is not fulfilling their part of the court order.


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