Divorce Law: Who Gets the Kids on the Holidays? A Guide to Texas’ Standard Possession Order

Many people think of the holidays as a wondrous time where families can focus on one another and all that they’re grateful for. Togetherness is the theme of the holidays whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, if you’re going through a divorce in Arlington, the holidays may just add an additional layer of stress. One spouse may now live somewhere else, emotions may be high, and all you want to do is spend time with your children over a holiday weekend. However, determining which parent gets the children for holidays after a divorce can be a particularly difficult subject to navigate. So, how do the Texas courts decide which parent gets the kids on the holidays? 

Let the Children Choose

First, if the parents can cultivate an amicable solution, the courts won’t intervene. If parents aren’t able to agree, they may consider letting the children choose which parent they’d like to spend the holidays with. Their choice will likely be hurtful to one parent, but this is a hard time for them and if possible, they should be able to go wherever they feel most comfortable. There are also other factors to consider like grandparents, siblings, cousins, and traditions. You don’t want your child to miss out while you try to protect your ego. Also, if your children decide to stay with their other parent for the holiday, you can celebrate with them early or after the other festivities conclude. Although, in some cases, parents may decide the children are too young to choose or they don’t want to put them in the middle of a highly contested Texas divorce case. In this case, the courts can decide. 

Texas Standard Possession Order

A Texas standard possession order outlines when a parent legally has the right to see their child. In Texas, this is generally applied to families with children over the age of three. An SPO must be followed unless both parents consent to alternative terms and there is no danger to the child. In terms of holidays, there are a couple of ways visitation rights are divided. For instance, parents take turns with the children for Thanksgiving on alternating years. Meanwhile, Christmas is separated into two parts.  

Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Couples Over the Holidays

The most important thing to remember over the holidays is that how you interact with your ex will impact your children. Try to avoid making snarky remarks about their other parent or making them choose. Also, since you’ll likely alternate holidays every year, make sure you’re respecting the traditions and religious values your children have acquired or become accustomed to before the divorce. 

The holidays also go beyond one or two special days. Make sure you’re coordinating with your ex to ensure your children get to spend quality time with both of you over winter break. If you had an amicable divorce, you may even consider spending time together and taking a day trip so your kids can enjoy the holiday with all of their loved ones. 

Arlington Divorce Attorney– Get a Texas Standard Possession Order

We’re just a month away from the end of summer. Now, is the time to start making plans for the fall and winter holidays to ensure you get the time you deserve with your children. Contact the expert legal team at Davis, Ermis, and Roberts in Arlington, TX. We can help you navigate your divorce and ensure you submit the proper paperwork to get a Texas Standard Possession Order (SOP). Schedule a consultation today so we can get through the tough stuff early– leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the holidays with your kin.