Today is April 1st which it means today is the deadline for the non-primary parent/possessory conservator to timely designate your period(s) of extended summer possession. Summer 2021 is the time for everyone to make up the vacations you missed last summer! You want to send your formal designations today so you and your kids can enjoy a trip or staycation.
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/children by 11:59 pm tonight. Failure to submit your desired dates on or before April 1st may result in you having no choice regarding your extended summer possession this year. Most orders state that if the non-primary parent/possessory conservator fails to designate his or her extended summer possession on or before April 1 then the extended summer possession for that year shall begin on July 1 at 6:00 p.m. and end on July 31 at 6:00 p.m.
Key Points to Remember when Selecting Dates for Summer Possession:
- If you are the mother, do not select dates that interfere with Father’s Day Weekend, which is the weekend of June 18-20, 2021;
- Please remember that all summer possession must be completed within a specified time period. The time period for exercising summer possession begins on the day after the child’s school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ends no later than seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation. Be sure to look at your child’s/children’s school calendar to ensure that you comply with this requirement. The school calendar applies whether your child is attending school virtually or attending school in person.
- If you reside within 100 miles or less from the primary residence of the child, then you can select 30 days for extended summer possession. You do not have to select 30 days in a row. You can break up the days into no more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each.
- If you reside over 100 miles apart from the primary residence of the child, then you can select 42 days for extended summer possession. You do not have to select 42 days in a row. You can break up the days into no more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each.
- Remember that you must always look at your specific order for guidance. The above points are the general terms under the Texas Family Code.
How Do I Give Notice?
Again, check your order for the form of notice which is usually in the General Terms and Conditions section of your order. Traditionally, written notice includes electronic mail, snail mail, and sometimes text message. If you’re ordered to communicate only through Our Family Wizard or another parenting platform like App Close, be sure to give notice via that platform. A good rule of thumb when designating your extended summer possession is send the notice in as many ways as you can so there is never a question as to your timely designation.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
The non-primary parent/possessory conservator still gets his/her 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the summer months, as well as 30 days of extended summer possession. 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 if the non-primary parent is exercising all 30 days in one block.
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 as long as your order doesn’t have “no stacking” language. In other words, if your order says you cannot “stack” regular weekends on top of extended summer time, then you have to include your regular 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends in your selected summer time. If you don’t have “no stacking” language, however, you can put your regular weekends before or after your selected extended summer dates.