Standard Possession Order – Part 2: Weekend Possession over 100 Miles

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by | May 27, 2021

A Standard Possession Order (SPO) sets the schedule for each parent’s time with the child. Christina Jimenez and Joshua Floyd of The Jimenez Law Firm explain in several videos how a SPO works. In Part Two, they explain Weekend Possession Over 100 miles. The attorneys take an easy approach in explaining a difficult topic.

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The Jimenez Law Firm attorneys Christina Jimenez and Josh Floyd discuss child custody cases involving a standard possession order regarding weekend possession over a distance of 100 miles. 

At 01:12 When you’re talking about over 100 miles, they’re living more than 100 miles away from one another. The distance is established by the primary residence of the child. This is the person who has the exclusive right to designate the residence. The possessory conservator would be more than 100 miles away from the residence. 

At 01:44 We’ll be referring to a managing conservator as the party that has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence. The possessory conservator is the person that has visitation.

At 02:03 In our previous video on the standard possession order, we took time to go through and explain the first, third, and fifth weekend and Thursdays and things of that nature. 

At 02:16 We’re going to revisit those because when a possessory conservator lives more than 100 miles away from the primary conservator, you get to make an election.

At 02:42 Rather than the first third and fifth weekends, you can designate that weekend with 14 days’ notice.

At 02:48 Here’s an example. Say we have two parents, and they are living in the same county at the time of divorce and then the possessory conservator decides that he is going to move away six months after the divorce is final. 

At 03:09 He needs to make that designation within the first 90 days of when he begins to reside more than 100 miles apart.  He has to notify the managing conservator that he wants to exercise the alternate weekend possession. The default remains at first, third and fifth if he does not give notice. If he gives notice, he goes to the alternate.

At 03:32 I have had that happen in a lot of my different cases where the possessory conservator moves more than 100 miles away and then the managing conservator calls me and tells me the father moved more than 100 miles away. 

At 03:57 I’m told he’s trying to exercise his first, third, and fifth weekends. The mom tells me she’s not okay with that and only wants him to take the child one weekend per month for a variety of reasons.

At 04:20 That’s the managing conservator’s decision. The managing conservator has to go with whatever the possessory conservator says. If they want to continue to travel on the first, third, and fifth weekends, that’s what’s going to happen.

At 04:37 Let’s go through the calendar really quick and explain the first, third, and fifth weekends of each month using the Lewisville school district calendar.

At 05:20 October is the best month to use to explain the first, third, and fifth weekends. It’s really the first, third, and fifth Fridays.

At 05:42 We’re going to be counting the Fridays. Here in October, October 2nd would be the first Friday. October 9th would be the second. the 16th, the third, the 23rd, the 4th, and then the 30th.

At 05:54 October 30th would be the fifth weekend. That’s how you determine which Friday.

At 06:07 Let’s talk about what happens on the 6th of November, that’s the first weekend.

At 06:15 Most people presume under the standard possession order it alternates weekends, but that’s not the case for about three or four months out of the year because the possessory conservator does get first, third, and fifth. In this case, he would get the second the 16th the 30th which is the fifth weekend but then he would get the very next weekend because November 6th is the first weekend.

At 06:44 If possessory conservator moves more than 100 miles away, they can continue to exercise all of these first, third, and fifth weekends if that is what they choose to do.

At 06:59 If they decide that for whatever reason it is not going to be beneficial to them to keep this scheduled, they can make an election. 

At 07:19 It needs to be a 14-day advance written notice stating their intent to choose one weekend per month.

At 07:28 Most parents that choose to exercise one weekend per month will find the student holidays throughout the year and will use that to extend their weekend possession.

At 07:45 Holidays will always extend a weekend of possession if the child is off of school on a Friday.

At 08:01 Let’s look at April the 2nd. If there’s no school on Friday, you could actually begin your weekend on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

At 08:09 If Monday was not a holiday, you would return the child Sunday at 6 p.m. But, if the kids are off school Monday, you could pick up the children Friday at six and then keep the children until Monday, assuming Friday was not a holiday.

At 08:47 If you’re choosing one weekend per month, go ahead and go through for the entire school year and elect, if possible, every single weekend that you’re going to exercise your right, so everyone is aware.

At 09:00 This allows your child to know when they’re going to be able to see the other parent. You can plan for travel, and you can choose all of these weekends that have these holidays that trail.

At 09:50 You cannot elect a weekend that would be considered spring break that would go to the other parent or Mother’s Day that would go to the other parent.

At 10:00 You can’t choose Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can’t interfere with holiday possession.

At 10:08 If it happens to be one parent’s turn for the Thanksgiving holiday, they won’t exercise a weekend in November because they’re going to have that full week.  They’ll just use that time in place of that.

At 10:37 The exchange location of where the child switches parents is important.

At 10:49 Generally, you’ll have one party picking up from the other party’s residence. The possessory conservator picking up from managing and then you will either have the managing picking up from the possessory or the possessory returning to managing.

At 11:05 The exchange location could impact the number of weekends the possessory conservator could exercise in this situation. If you have an agreement where you’re meeting halfway, the managing conservator still has to meet halfway no matter if the possessory conservator has moved 200 miles away.

At 11:20 Typically in the default language in a lot of these standard possession orders, it states that the possessory conservator is going to pick up and drop off. There’s an additional provision that says that if the managing or the possessory and the managing are living in the same county and then the managing conservator moves outside of that county, then effective on the date that they move the possessory would pick up at the beginning and the managing would pick up at the end. That’s typically going to be the default language that you’re going to see.

At 11:57 Some divorce decrees have come through my office where both parties have agreed they are going to exchange at the Denton County Sheriff’s department. Then the managing conservator says they’re moving to Houston and expects the possessory conservator to pick up the child at the sheriff’s department’s office there.

At 12:21 But that’s not the case. The managing conservator is still going to have to drive every first, third, and fifth weekend to bring the child to the Denton County Sheriff’s department even if they’re living in Houston.

At 12:31 Be aware if there is even the slightest chance you may be relocating somewhere far. Keep in mind that you always can go back on a modification. 

At 13:08 There are also airline provisions that may be included in an order depending on their age and maturity level.

At 13:22 You can also draft an order and include these provisions in there to say that each one of you is ordered to get the kids on planes to purchase airline tickets. If they miss flights, there are consequences. If you are living 500 miles away, that is always going to be an option.

At 14:07 There are also expanded elections. 

At 14:18 The possession conservator rather than picking up a Friday at six can pick up Friday at the time school is released. If it’s extended by holiday, then pickup would be on Thursday.

At 14:32 The extended holiday provisions apply to whether you’re doing the first, third, or fifth or the alternate period of possession of one weekend per month. 

At 15:09 If you are having these types of issues, make sure that you’re going to a local attorney, and you are getting sound legal advice on how to deal with all these issues.

At 15:21 It’s very complicated. What you do not want to do is take these matters into your own hands and then end up with some sort of contempt action being filed or some sort of modification being filed against you because you failed to comply with the order.