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Winter Break Visitation Schedules

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas child custody attorney, Texas family law attorneyThe holidays can be a difficult time for families who have recently gone through a divorce. Creating and adhering to a parenting plan can make all the difference in helping children transition to a new time-sharing schedule, while also allowing them to enjoy the holidays, so if you are currently going through a divorce or have questions about a parenting plan or standard possession order, it is important to contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can help protect the interests of both you and your children.

Standard Visitation Guidelines

It is usually in a family’s best interest to attempt to reach a voluntary custody agreement outside of court. This leaves the parents in control of the outcome and can help avoid the expense and stress that often comes with going to court. However, coming to an agreement is sometimes impossible, at which point a family court will need to step in and draft a standard possession order (SPO). The typical SPO makes standard arrangements for holiday visitation, including winter break, although courts can alter the SPO if doing so would be in the best interests of the child.

According to the terms of these plans, non-custodial parents are granted possession of a child in even-numbered years beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the last day of school before Christmas vacation and ending at 12:00 p.m. on December 28. The managing conservator, or custodial parent, will then have visitation rights for the same period although in odd-numbered years, after which, the non-custodial parent will have visitation from 12:00 p.m. on December 28 until 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes.

Dealing with Holiday Visitation Issues

Even when a family has an SPO or parenting plan in place, holiday visitation can still be a stressful and emotional time. There are a few steps that parents can take to help reduce conflict and so protect their children from emotional trauma, such as:

  • Shielding children from any conflicts between the ex-spouses;
  • Planning ahead for scheduling upcoming holiday visitation;
  • Recording any deviations in the holiday schedule in writing ahead of time;
  • Remaining flexible and willing to compromise;
  • Trying to accommodate reasonable requests made by children or the other parent, including honoring any traditions;
  • Focusing on enjoying the holidays; and
  • Contacting an experienced family law attorney regarding questions or concerns about holiday visitation.

Although taking these steps does not guarantee that the holidays will go smoothly, their implementation can help children enjoy the holidays with as little stress as possible.

Contact The Law Offices of William D. Powers to Speak with an Experienced Complex Child Custody Lawyer

The holidays can be both a joyous and a stressful time, especially for families who are still transitioning after a divorce, so if you have concerns about your holiday visitation rights, please contact The Law Offices of William D. Powers and a member of our dedicated legal team will help you schedule a consultation with an experienced Leander complex child custody attorney who can discuss your legal options.

Sources:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.153.htm

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/cs/qa_ncp.pdf

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