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Visitation rights when parents live far away from each other

When parents get divorced in Texas, they must resolve a couple major issues involving the children. These issues are child custody, also known as conservatorship, and visitation, also known as possession. Custody determines which parent will make the decisions for the children and visitation determines when each parent will have the children in their care.

There are a number of different visitation schedules that the parents can agree to based on what is in the best interests of the children. However, it can get more complicated in situations when the parents do not live close to each other.

To help simplify the situation, Texas law provides for a default visitation schedule for parents residing more than 100 miles from each other. The non-custodial parent would have the children the first, third and fifth weekends of each month, starting at 6:00 p.m. Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m. Sunday. They would also have the children over their spring break.

During the summer the non-custodial parent could have up to 42 days with the children. The parents could divide this into separate blocks of time. However, if there is no notice or cannot agree then the non-custodial parent would have the children from June 15th to July 27th each summer.

This is just the default though, and parents can still come to agreements on what works best for the children and the parents. Parents know their children best and with the assistance of mediation may be able to reach agreements on their own.

There are many parents who move away from each other after a divorce in Texas. There are many reasons for needing or wanting to move, but just because a parent moves does not mean the other parent will no longer see the children. The visitation would just be on weekends and extended time during the summer, unless the parties reach other agreements. These are very fact specific matters and parents may find the knowledge of attorneys valuable.

Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, "Texas Family Code Chapter 153.313" accessed Sept. 26, 2017

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