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What are the various types of possession orders in Texas?

As many Texas residents understand, when children are involved, divorce becomes even more difficult than it would be otherwise. What many spouses may forget is that although they might not have the same feeling anymore for each other, their children may still have a desire for the parents to live together. When thinking of the best interest of the child, the court typically awards child custody to one parent and generally orders the other to pay child support. The non-custodial parent will usually have visitation rights.

In Texas, visitation rights are referred to as access and possession. In Texas, there are four types of possession orders. First is a basic standard possession order, or SPO. Next is an expanded standard possession order modified possession order. The third type of possession order is a modified version of a standard possession order. Finally, there is supervised visitation.

In Texas, like in other places in the United States, parents usually agree on visitation rights. However, if spouses cannot come to an agreement about visitation, the schedule will follow a plan developed by the Texas Legislature. The visitation plan needs to be fair and both parents should agree to it. The SPO clearly states that the parent with the visitation rights can visit the child on the first Friday of the month, followed by the third and fifth Fridays of the same month. The access would end on the Sunday of the same week at 6:00 p.m. Every Thursday evening, the parent can visit the child between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

All registered holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, will be divided between the parents. The possessory parent will have visitation rights during that time. The SPO specifically states that the parent will spend a month with the child during the summer vacation. This might be extended to more than a month if the child lives more than 100 miles away from the parent who has custody.

Source: TYLA.org, "What to Expect in Texas Family Law Court," Accessed on May 1, 2015

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