Settling Child Visitation Schedules for the Holidays
Deciding and agreeing upon visitation schedules for children can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce—especially when it comes to holidays and school vacation periods. There are a variety of considerations to include in visitation schedules, so it’s important to have professional advice and guidance from a qualified divorce attorney in Granbury or a Stephenville divorce lawyer who has experience in child custody and divorce cases.
Nearly half of all divorces in Texas require child custody agreements, and in general, Texas law presumes that both parents should be named joint managing conservators. If visitation and access to the child is determined to be in his or her best interests, the judge will create a standard possession order outlining the visitation schedule.
Many times, parents reach a visitation agreement before either seeks legal advice from a Granbury or Stephenville divorce lawyer, but those agreements don’t always address the requirements of Texas law or the best interests of both parents. Each divorce has unique circumstances, and a Granbury attorney can assist a client if there are special religious or other specific considerations that should be included in the divorce decree concerning child visitation. There are standard holiday child visitation schedules that the judge may order if no agreement has been reached by the parents:
The parent who does not live with the child—also known as the possessory conservator— has visitation each year from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the child’s birthday.
Visitation alternates between parents, with the managing conservator—the parent with whom the child lives—spending the holiday with the child on evenly numbered years, and the possessory conservator taking the child for visitation during odd-numbered years. Official visitation begins at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed for the holiday, and ends on the Sunday following the Thanksgiving holiday.
For the Christmas holidays, the visitation schedule is divided into two parts due to its extended length, and alternates between odd and even-numbered years. For example, if the managing conservatory parent had visitation in 2016 on the first half of the holiday vacation period, which includes Christmas Day, the possessory parent will have visitation with the child during the first half of the holiday, including Christmas Day, the following year. The standard holiday visitation schedule allows the possessory parent visitation for the first half of the holiday vacation on even-numbered years, with the managing conservator parent having the first half visitation during odd-numbered years.
These holidays are generally spent with the child’s mother on Mother’s Day and the child’s father on Father’s Day, no matter the conservatorship.
There are many additional considerations to determine child visitation, including:
· Whether the child will need to travel to visit the possessory conservator parent
· The age of the child
· Safety concerns
Experience in family law is important with any divorce case, as is hiring a divorce attorney in Granbury or the surrounding area who is familiar with the state and local court systems and its judges. Glasgow, Isham, and Glasgow P.C. is a professional law firm, with experienced Stephenville, TX, lawyers.