Parents in Texas, absent family violence or child abuse, harm or neglect, are entitled to at a minimum a possession schedule with their children called the Standard Possession Schedule. Each state has its own version of a “Standard Possession Order.”
The Texas Standard Possession Schedule allows the non-primary parent to have possession of the child at a minimum on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the month beginning at 6 pm on Fridays and ending at 6pm on Sundays, Thursdays during the school year from 6 pm – 8 pm, and 30 days in the summer. Additionally, parents alternate having possession of the child during Spring Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays. More and more often, parents who live close in proximity are agreeing to 50/50 possession schedules which entitle each parent to possession of the child ½ of the time.
Recently, Yahoo profiled the possession schedule of the infant twins of David Tutera and his estranged partner, Ryan Jurica. The twins were delivered via surrogate in July, 2013. One of the infant twins is the biological child of David Tutera and the other infant twin is the biological child of Ryan Jurica. Recently, Mr. Tutera and Mr. Jurica announced that they will “split custody” of the infant twins. Split custody means that siblings are separated and one child goes to one parent and the other child goes to the other parent. In this situation, Mr. Tutera will have custody of his biological twin child and Mr. Jurica will have custody of his biological twin child. Mr. Tutera has defended this decision and states he intends to have his child know her twin. However, the current possession schedule does not provide for the twins to be raised together in the same home.
Most experts agree that splitting up siblings, whether they are half or full siblings, is not in a child’s best interest. The sibling relationship is an important one. Children need their siblings to connect with and grow together. The bottom line is the younger the children, the less likely a Court in Texas will allow the children to be split apart. Therefore, it is important to research different possession schedules and what experts recommend when deciding what schedule is best for children and their relationships with the family unit as a whole.