standard possession in child custody law in texas

If you are the “non-primary conservator,” you are the parent with visitation rights, which refers to your possession of and access to the child. Your child or children live primarily with your ex, who is the primary conservator.

What is a Standard Possession Order?

This is typically how it works:

If your child is over the age of 3 and you live within 100 miles of your child, your possession (or visitation) is:

The first, third and fifth weekends of each month

Thursdays during the school term

Alternating spring breaks

For 30 consecutive days in the summer

If your child is over the age of 3 and you live more than 100 miles away from your child, your possession (or visitation) is:

Not on Thursdays during the school term

Instead, you get Spring Break and 42 days in the summer

You also have a choice for weekend possession: first, third, and fifth or any one weekend per month of your choosing


The distance between residences is not a factor for holidays. You and your ex alternate holidays, which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, brief visits on the child’s birthday and possession on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day weekend, whichever is appropriate.

When does possession begin and end?

If you’re the parent with visitation, you get to choose the time visitation begins and ends. The choices are usually:

Possession begins at the time school dismisses

Or at 6 p.m.

Or any time in between school dismissal and 6 p.m.

Possession ends when school resumes

Or at 6 p.m. the day before

As the non-primary parent, you must enter your choices when the order is submitted, and the court order will specify the beginning and ending or possession times.

Legal Help along the Way

Often parents have situations that make the SPO schedule unworkable. Under Texas law, our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates can help you reach a different