Standard Possession Order

Most custody orders include a Standard Possession Order (SPO) (Texas Family Code Title 5, Subchapter F [153.3101 – 153.317]) that sets the schedule for each parent’s time with the child.  Custody orders refer to parenting time as access and possession, which is the same as visitation.  The SPO tells the parents where the exchanges of the child will take place, where the child will spend the holidays,  and has special rules for when the parents live more than 100 miles apart. The child will spend the first, third, and fifth weekend of each month plus one weekday evening, unless holiday schedules override, and at least one month in the summer with the NCP. Weekends start on Fridays.

The court does not have to follow the SPO if a child is under three years old or if the SPO is not in the best interest of the child.

How do I know if I have an SPO?

Look at your order underneath the heading “Possession and Access Order.” If the noncustodial parent is given the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends (beginning on Friday and ending on Sunday), a weeknight visit once a week during the school term, a period of extended summer visitation, and shared holidays, then you probably have an SPO.

Click here to see an example of a Standard Possession Order.