As a reminder, if you are the non-primary parent/possessory conservator, then you must submit, in writing, the dates that you wish to have extended summer possession with the child by April 1 every year.  Failure to submit your desired dates on or before April 1 of each year may result in you having no choice regarding your extended summer possession in a given year.  

Under a Texas Standard Possession Schedule, the non-primary/possessory conservator may select 30 days for purposes of his/her summer possession, which can be split up into a maximum of two periods of at least 7 days each.  These dates also cannot interfere with the other parent’s Mother’s Day or Father’s Day weekend periods of possession.  Keep in mind that under a Texas Standard Possession Schedule, the non-primary conservator will continue to exercise their 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the month in addition to the 30 days of extended summer possession during the summer.

If you are the custodial parent/primary conservator, then you must submit, in writing, the dates that you wish to have extended summer possession with the child by April 15 every year.  Under a Texas Standard Possession Schedule, the primary conservator is entitled to select (1) weekend from the dates that the other parent has designated as his or her 30 days of extended summer possession (submitted by April 1).  Said weekend possession shall begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and end at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday during the 30 days of extended summer possession selected by the non-primary parent.  Additionally, the primary conservator gets to select (1) weekend that would otherwise be the other parents regular weekend possession during the summer (1st, 3rd, or 5th weekend) by April 15 of each year and/or by providing 14 days’ written notice to the other parent.

The purpose of the April 1 and April 15 deadlines is to provide the non-primary parent the right each year to select his/her dates for their extended summer possession before the primary conservator selects their weekend from these dates. 

Therefore, the primary conservator cannot require the non-primary conservator to select different dates for their extended summer possession (unless they have selected Mother’s Day/Father’s Day weekend).  However, the primary conservator can select 1 weekend during this 30-day period to exercise his or her extended summer possession as discussed above in paragraph 3.  Therefore, regardless of whether you are the primary or non-primary conservator, you should always wait until after the April 1 and April 15 designation deadlines to plan those summer vacations.

 

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.