Every year about this time people lose their minds. The Texas Legislature, through the Texas Family Code, has gone to great length’s to make the possession and access schedule as fair as possible and as clear as possible so as to minimize confusion and to ensure the child has time with both parents. But, every year parents get confused about the holiday schedules and feelings get hurt. I should also point out the focus of the family code is THE CHILD.
The first point to remember is that holiday (and summer) visitations trump weekend visitations. For example, this year Thanksgiving holiday began on a weekend that would ordinarily be the child’s time with the “visiting parent.” However, for many schools the Thanksgiving holiday began Friday November 16, 2018 at whatever time school let out. That means that although the visiting parent would have ordinarily had that weekend for visitation, because 2018 is an even year, and in even years the “home” parent has the Thanksgiving holiday, the visiting parent did not have the superior right to possession on the weekend beginning on the third Friday of November. Likewise, whenever school lets out for the Christmas break the “visiting parent’s” period of possession begins without regard to whose weekend it is.
I would like to point out that the holiday schedule contemplates Christian holidays and there are plenty of people who aren’t Christian culturally or practice. A qualified family law practitioner is likely to have several alternative visitation schedules for whatever your particular religion or culture celebrates. Additionally, the standard possession and access also has the most magical sentence.
THE PARTIES SHALL HAVE POSSESSION OF THE CHILD AT ALL TIMES MUTUALLY AGREED TO IN ADVANCE BY THE PARTIES. This means if the two parents can put aside your pride and concentrate on your children’s best interest, you can literally do whatever you want. Trust me on this, you will be happier and, more importantly, your children will be happier. I realize this may not be possible for everyone, but for those that can work together you should. Those who cannot should visit a qualified attorney who practices family law.