Updated: Jan 7
In Texas, a Standard Possession Order (SPO) is a court-ordered schedule for a non-custodial parent to have possession of their child. This schedule is set in place to ensure that the non-custodial parent has the opportunity to spend time with their child and be involved in their upbringing.
The SPO typically includes provisions for possession of the child during certain holidays, weekends, and extended summer vacations. The non-custodial parent will also typically have the right to possess the child on the first, third, and fifth weekends of the month.
An Expanded Standard Possession Order (E-SPO) is similar to an SPO, but it allows for a non-custodial parent to have more possession time with their child, which included a Thursday overnight visit. This may be granted in cases where the non-custodial parent has a strong relationship with the child and there is no reason to believe that additional possession time would be detrimental to the child's well-being. Recently, the Texas legislature adopted legislation that automatically grants a parent who lives withing a 50 mile radius of the custodial parent a E-SPO, unless is is determined to not be in the best interest of the child.
Both SPOs and E-SPOs are designed to provide a fair and balanced schedule for possession of a child, taking into account the best interests of the child and the needs and abilities of both parents. They are typically put in place in cases of divorce or separation, but can also be established in cases where parents were never married.
It's important to note that SPOs and E -SPOs are not the same as child custody orders, which determine who has legal decision-making authority for a child. In Texas, there are two types of custody: joint managing conservatorship and sole managing conservatorship. In a joint managing conservatorship, both parents have legal decision-making authority and are responsible for the welfare of the child. In a sole managing conservatorship, one parent has the sole authority to make decisions for the child.
If you are a non-custodial parent in Texas and are seeking an SPO or E-SPO, it's important to work with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your rights and the best interests of your child are protected.
Below is a calendar downland for 2023 Standard Possession Orders. Please note that this calendar is for educational purposes only and should be used in conjunction with your court order and child's academic counselor.
If you need assistance creating or reviewing your possession order, please contact DeRouen Law Firm, PLLC at (832) 328-0791. If you need more tips and tools to assist you with your divorce or custody case please consider signing up for one of our upcoming classes.