We are all social-distancing from each other and trying to stay home. We are home schooling, cooking at home, and watching Tiger King. Mostly we are just trying to co-exist in our own homes today. We aren’t thinking of what to do about summer, are we?
Well April 1st signals the day when parents under the Texas Standard Possession Schedule should start thinking about summertime. Even now, when the summertime seems so far away and we most likely will not be able to go much of anywhere out of the house much less on vacation for any period of time this summer, you still need to think about designating your summer period of possession.
April 1st is the deadline for the non-primary parent to designate your intended 30 days of extended summer possession is April 1st. The designation has to be in writing (email is fine). These 30 days can only be exercised in two periods of possession and each period of possession must be at least seven consecutive days. Additionally, a parent’s extended summer possession can begin once school is dismissed and must end at least seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer.
The Texas Standard Possession Order awards a non-primary parent the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the summer months as well as 30 days extended summer possession in the summer. The primary parent in turn gets to pick one of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends, which would have been the non-primary parent’s weekend, to have possession of the children as well as one weekend during the non-primary parent’s 30 days of extended summer possession.
What happens if you miss the April 1st deadline? Should you not designate any extended summer possession dates by April 1st, generally the standard order provides the non-primary parent will automatically be entitled to July 1 – 31st that summer.
A question that is frequently asked is “can I use a weekend of summer possession in addition to my extended summer possession to make my time with the children 32 days?” The answer is yes, you can. However, keep in mind that the primary parent has until April 15th each year to designate a weekend period of possession that will occur during your regular 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend as well as a weekend during your extended summer possession.
Another question that is often asked is, “Does the primary conservator have the ability to disagree with the dates that I have designated for my periods of summer possession and require that I select different dates?” No, the other parent doesn’t get to tell you to pick different dates (unless the dates designated improperly include Mother’s Day/Father’s Day weekend). It doesn’t work that way. The non-primary parent gets to designate first. Keep in mind that the primary conservator can select 1 weekend during this 30-day period to exercise his or her extended summer possession as discussed above. 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 to make sure each parent has designated their periods.