Happy Holidays for All

Texas law suggests a minimum amount of time the non-custodial parent should have with their child, it’s called the Standard Possession Order.  It sets out weekends, holidays and summer time that a parent should have under normal circumstances, and presumes this is in the best interest of the child.  Of course, if your case has extenuating circumstances, you need to let that be known.

The Holidays contemplated by the Texas Family Code are Thanksgiving, Christmas, New’s Years, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, child’s birthday and Spring Break.  The Family Code does not include Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, Halloween, President’s Day or Valentine’s Day.  Religious holidays are discussed below.   If you want to be assured of time with your child during holidays other than Christmas, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, you should make desires known.

It is designed that each parent have equal time during Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving and Spring Break over a two year period.  Depending on the school calendar, this may not be an equal day by day breakdown.

The following is a typical visitation schedule:

1.            Christmas Holidays in Even-Numbered Years – In even-numbered years, PARENT B shall have possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and PARENT A shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that Christmas school vacation.

2.            Christmas Holidays in Odd-Numbered Years – In odd-numbered years, PARENT A shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and PARENT B shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that Christmas school vacation.

3.            Thanksgiving in Odd-Numbered Years – In odd-numbered years, PARENT B shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

4.            Thanksgiving in Even-Numbered Years – In even-numbered years, PARENT A shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

5.            Child’s Birthday – If a parent is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of a child on the child’s birthday, that parent shall have possession of the child and the child’s minor siblings beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. on that day, provided that that parent picks up the children from the other parent’s residence and returns the children to that same place.

                6.            Father’s Day – FATHER shall have the right to possession of the child each year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father’s Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Father’s Day, provided that if FATHER is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of the child, he shall pick up the child from PARENT A’s residence and return the child to that same place.

                7.            Mother’s Day – MOTHER shall have the right to possession of the child each year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day, provided that if MOTHER is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of the child, she shall pick up the child from PARENT B’s residence and return the child to that same place.

Religious Holidays And Family Traditions

Jewish holidays and other religious holidays sometimes coincide with the Christian equivalent seasonal holidays for example, Passover versus Easter and Chanukah versus Christmas. Furthermore, school districts are attempting to meld administrative holidays.

If the parents are of a divergent religion from one another, it is absolutely necessary to put the respective holidays in any agreement. Just because your Jewish or Christian partner did not celebrate religious holidays does not mean his family won’t. Consider also, that the emotional tumult surrounding divorce and single parenthood can make people of any faith move closer to their respective roots.

Lastly, if you have special family traditions such an annual reunions, don’t trust that your ex will believe they are as important as when you were together. It is very rare for parents to lament that their holiday access schedule is too specific so always spell it out.


Kelly Koch Attorney at Law

Contact us by phone at (361) 882-8000 or through our online form to schedule your consultation and learn more. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening and weekend consultations available by appointment.

1402 N. Chaparral St., Corpus Christi, TX