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Summer Parenting Time Under The Texas Standard Possession Order

If you follow the Standard Possession Order in the Texas Family Code, it's time to designate summer parenting time with your children. All designations / notices must be made in writing. The amount of possession time depends on the distance between the homes of the child and the parent. The Standard Possession Order gives the Possessory Conservator (or non-primary Joint Managing Conservator)(hereinafter called Parent 1) 30 days during the summer vacation break from school if Parent 1 resides within 100 miles of the child. The other parent, Parent 2, is also given uninterrupted time in the summer. Parent 1 designates their summer possession period(s) no later than April 1st. Possession may not begin earlier than the day after school is dismissed, and must end not later than 7 days before school resumes after summer vacation. Possession is to be exercised in not more than two separate periods of at least 7 consecutive days each. Each period begins and ends at 6:00 p.m. If designation is not made by April 1st, a default summer possession period applies. This period starts at 6:00 p.m. on July 1st and ends at 6:00 p.m. on July 31st. In addition to 30 days, Parent 1 also continues to exercise their weekend periods of possession, generally beginning on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Fridays of June, July, and August. They do not have weeknight possession during the summer months. Parent 2's summer possession is made in two different ways: First, Parent 2 may designate a 1st, 3rd, or 5th weekend on which Parent 1 will not have possession. This designation must be made by April 15th, or upon 14 days notice after April 16th. The weekend may not begin earlier than the day after school is dismissed, and must end not later than 7 days before school resumes after summer break. The weekend may not interfere with Parent 1's summer possession or Father's Day (if Parent 1 is the Father). Second, Parent 2 may designate a weekend during Parent 1's summer possession period from 6:00 p.m. on Friday until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. This designation must be made by April 15th. Parent 2 must pick up the child from Parent 1 and return the child to that same place. If Parent 1 resides over 100 miles from the child, Parent 1 has 45 days during the summer break. The same general provisions apply. If Parent 1 fails to designate by April 1st, the default time period is from 6:00 p.m. on June 15th until 6:00 p.m. on July 27th. Parent 2 again has two different ways to have uninterrupted time during the summer: First, if Parent 1 exercises their period of possession in less than 30 day blocks, Parent 2 may designate one weekend during Parent 1's summer possession. If Parent 1 has a period of possession in excess of 30 days, Parent 2 may designate two weekends during Parent 1's summer possession. These weekends begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. This designation must be made by April 15th. Parent 2 must pick up the child from Parent 1 and return the child to that same place. Second, Parent 2 may designate 21 days of possession. This designation must be made by April 15th. The possession may not begin earlier than the day after school is dismissed, and must end not later than 7 days before school resumes after summer break. The possession is to be exercised in not more than two separate periods of at least 7 consecutive days each. Each period begins and ends at 6:00 p.m. The possession times may not interfere with Parent 1's summer possession or Father's Day (if Parent 1 is the Father). "School" means the school in which the child is enrolled, or if the child is not enrolled in school, the public school district in which the child primarily resides. Parents can always alter these possession periods by mutual agreement.

Additional resources provided by the author

Texas Family Code, Sections 153.3101; 153.311; 153.312(b); 153.313(3)-(5)

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