Important reading on possession and visitation is the Texas Family Code Chapter 153. Chapter 153 Subchapter F discusses the standard possession order. To understand Subchapter F, one may wish to review Subchapters A and C for concepts such as conservatorship, sole and joint custody, and right to designate the primary residence of the child.
When does the standard possession order apply?
The standard possession order applies in most cases. However, there are times when the standard possession order does not apply. For instance, in lieu of a standard possession order parents may negotiate their own parenting plan. To be enforceable, the parenting plan must be in writing and a court must find the parenting plan to be in the child’s best interest. Also, the standard possession order does not apply to children under the age of three.
Example Standard Possession Order
Here is a model Standard Possession Order. In practice, the standard possession order is not found alone but makes up a part of the divorce decree.
Generally, the non-custodial parent will not receive less visitation than the amount set out in the standard possession order. The standard possession order sets out the specifics on how a divorced couple is to deal with summer visitation, holidays, and how to proceed when the non-custodial parent lives less than or more than 100 miles away.