On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Since Juneteenth was on a Saturday in 2021, the holiday did not impact the Father’s Day weekend possession schedule last year. Juneteenth does impact possession this year though.
This weekend is a third weekend which is normally the possessory conservator’s regular weekend possession. Under section 153.314(5) of the Texas Family Code, however, Father’s Day weekend possession begins on Friday at 6 pm and ends for most fathers on Sunday at 6 pm (or on Monday at 8 am depending on the order) (see section 153.317(a)(6)).
So how does the Juneteenth federal holiday impact possession this weekend? Under section 153.315(a):
If a weekend period of possession of the possessory conservator coincides with a . . . federal, state, or local holiday that falls on a Monday during the summer months in which school is not in session, the weekend possession shall end at 6 p.m. on Monday.
Possessory conservator fathers whose time would normally end at 6 p.m. Sunday (or 8 a.m. Monday) get to keep possession of the child until Monday, June 20, 2022 at 6 p.m. under the Texas Family Code standard possession schedule and recognition of the Juneteenth federal holiday on Monday.
What if Mother is the possessory conservator?
What happens in the case of the mother being the possessory conservator? June 17 – 19, 2022 is a third weekend meaning that a possessory conservator mother would normally be entitled to possession under a standard possession order. However, the Father’s Day holiday trumps the normal third weekend possession schedule so that fathers will have possession Father’s Day weekend.
Fathers Day possession generally ends at 6 pm Sunday. Since Juneteenth is on Sunday, June 19th this year, the holiday’s federal recognition will be on Monday, June 20th. A possessory conservator mother would therefore be entitled to possession from 6 pm Sunday (the end of Father’s Day weekend possession) until 6 pm Monday for the federal holiday. The parents’ regular summer schedule then resumes on Monday at 6 pm.
Summer Schedule Caveat
As with most family law matters, there is a caveat. Most orders have designated times during the summer for extended summer possession. The above explanation of the federal holiday does not take into account extended summer possession schedules designated by the parents. As always, consult your own order for exact language that pertains to your case.