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What Does the Texas Family Code Say About Holiday Visitation?


With the holidays approaching, it is important to remember what the Texas Family Code says about divorces and holidays. While parents are allowed to make other arrangements if they have been approved by the court, there is a standard approach that the state of Texas takes to handling holidays after a divorce. This approach is characterized with an every other year style of possession, or visitation, for major holidays and school vacations.

Standard Holiday Visitation Schedule 

Dividing up the holidays can be a source of contention when it comes to divorced parents, which is why the Texas Family Code gives specific details for parents facing this situation. The following schedule is what is ordered if parents don’t agree with other arrangements that have been approved by the court.

  • Christmas – The parent without custody will get custody of the child starting at 6 p.m. on the last day the child is in school before Christmas break begins until 6 p.m. on the day after Christmas. The other parent will have custody of the child from December 26 at 6 p.m. until 6 p.m. the day before Christmas break ends. This schedule alternates each year.
  • Thanksgiving – The parent without custody will have custody of the child starting at 6 p.m. on the day that school ends for Thanksgiving break until 6 p.m. on the Sunday immediately after the holiday is over. Whichever parent has the child during Thanksgiving break will typically determine who has custody of the child over Christmas break. Whichever parent has the child for Thanksgiving will have the child over the last half of Christmas break.
  • Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – The mother will have custody of the child on Mother’s Day weekend and the father will have custody of the child on Father’s Day weekend.
  • Child’s Birthday – The parent that wouldn’t typically have visitation on the day of the child’s birthday would have visitation with that child from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on that day.
  • Other Holidays – For Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day parents will typically alternate possession for every other year.

When a holiday falls on the Monday after or Friday before a regularly scheduled weekend, the Texas Family Code will typically allow for the visitation with the child to extend through the weekend. There are also specific instructions about the arrangements that must be made for Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks if the parents live more than 100 miles apart. An experienced family law attorney can help you determine how to handle visitation over the holidays if you have questions.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today 

The Texas Family Code presumes that the above standard holiday visitation arrangements are in the best interests of the children involved unless the parents reach a different arrangement and the court approves such arrangements. If you have questions about custody arrangements over the holidays, the attorneys at Lindamood & Robinson, P.C. can help you understand what your legal options may be. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.



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