Even if you live more than 100 miles away from your children and the parent they usually live with, Texas law recognizes your desire to spend time with them. Standard Possession Orders outline specific rules that both parents must follow if they cannot reach an amicable agreement on how their children should divide time between the two households.
Recognizing that travel cuts into quality parenting time
SPOs for child custody differ for parents who live more than 100 miles apart. The state recommends that parents factor in the time it may take to travel. Whenever possible, the receiving parent should travel with their children and spend the time talking and reconnecting.
A non-custodial parent must petition the custodial parent within 90 days after they start living more than 100 miles apart to request custody for one weekend per month. The non-custodial parent can choose the first, third or fifth weekend and must submit the request at least 14 days in advance. The law defines the weekend as beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday and ending at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Additionally, non-custodial parents should get extended time with their children during school spring breaks and summer vacations.
Do you have to follow that schedule?
If you and the other parent can agree on a visitation schedule after one parent moves away, then you don’t have to follow the state’s SPO. Texas SPOs are in place primarily for couples who cannot agree on a custody arrangement.
Unless you are a proven threat to your children, you deserve the right to see them regularly. Mediation is one possible solution to setting up parental custody when living far away from your children. However, the SPO is there to protect your visitation rights if needed.