What Are the Minimum Visitation Rights in Texas Divorce for a Noncustodial Parent?

Photo of wedding ringThe minimum visitation rights in Texas divorce were created to ensure that the noncustodial parent is allowed time with their children. What is the noncustodial parent (whoever does not have primary custody) entitled to under Texas’ standard visitation code?

Remember, parents can and should try to agree on a parenting time schedule that is in the best interests of the children. Mediation can assist parents who may otherwise have trouble communicating. Many parents who agree on a schedule in mediation find it mutually beneficial and a better solution than having a judge impose a schedule on their family. However, if parents cannot agree, a family judge will have to make the final decision.

Minimum Visitation Rights in Texas Divorce

If the noncustodial parent lives within 100 miles of the child:

  • First, third, and fifth weekend of every month from 6:00pm Friday (or when the kids get out of school) until Monday morning when the kids are dropped off at school.
  • Every Wednesday starting at 6:00pm (or when the kids get out of school) until 8:00pm, or until the following morning when they are dropped off at school.
  • Mother’s/Father’s day from 6:00pm the Friday before until 6:00pm on Mother’s/Father’s day.
  • Thanksgiving on odd-numbered years from 6:00pm on the day school is released for Thanksgiving break until 6:00pm on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
  • Christmas on even-numbered years from 6:00pm when school is released for Christmas break until noon on the 26th of December.
  • On the child’s birthday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Noncustodial parent is responsible for picking up and dropping the child back off with the other parent.
  • During summer, the noncustodial parent may take custody of the child for 30 days if they give written notice by April 1st. If no notice is given, then they can take the child from July 1st to July 31st. The primary parent may then choose one weekend within the 30-day period to have the kids and take custody that weekend if they provide notice by April 14th or with two weeks’ notice.

If the noncustodial parent lives farther than 100 miles away:

  • First, third, and fifth weekends, same as above, OR the noncustodial parent can choose one weekend per month if they provide 7 days’ notice.
  • Birthdays, Mother’s/Father’s day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are the same as above.
  • Noncustodial parents may take the child for Spring Break every year from 6:00pm on the day school is let out for break until 6:00pm on the last day of Spring Break.
  • During the summers, noncustodial parents can take 42 days during the break if they give notice by the first of April. If not, then they may take custody from June 15th through July 27th. The other parent may take two weekends if the other parent has the child for more than 30 days if they provide notice by April 15th.

more information about visitation rights and child custody, you should really consult a Texas divorce attorney to find out what your best options may be.



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