[I]f you are a non-custodial parent, you are likely aware of the importance of spending time with your children. Your visitation privileges are precious, and your kids can greatly benefit from the quality time that you spend together. This is why you should take active steps to protect the summer vacation periods made available to you by the state of Texas.
Standard Visitation Rights During the Summer
After a contested divorce in Texas, the non-custodial parent is typically granted a certain period of standard visitation. The non-custodial parent may choose a summertime visitation period of either the full month of July or two non-consecutive two-week periods.
Providing Written Notice
If you don’t provide written notice stating a different preference and intention, then your summer visitation period will become the month of July by default. If you provide such notice in writing by April 1, then you may choose alternative time periods as previously mentioned. While this may seem like a simple thing to accomplish, conflicts may arise if the custodial parent claims not to have received the required notice in a timely manner.
Have Your Letter Time-and-Date Stamped
To prevent conflict as a result of miscommunication, you might have your letter time-stamped and dated. You can bring three copies of your notice to the courthouse, where you may get each copy officially stamped with the date and time. Then, leave one copy to be kept on file with the court, mail one copy to the custodial parent, and keep one copy for yourself. Should a dispute arise regarding the timeliness of the written notice, proof of the letter will be on file – so that a judge or anyone else may refer to it. Most courts also have online copies to further eliminate ambiguity in such matters.
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This is advisable even if you choose to take the default month of July (which most parents opt to do); then, your intention will be clear. As with all legal matters – especially those associated with custody and visitation rights – be sure to discuss the details with your attorney. Rules and requirements may be different from state to state, and your attorney will know which rules pertain to your case. When you take a few extra steps to secure the visitation period you need, both you and your kids will ultimately benefit from your efforts.
How do you handle summer vacation disagreements? Do you have any probems working out summer with your Ex?
Featured image from Dollar Photo Club.