Holiday Visitation; When it begins and ends

I receive many calls when the Holiday season arrives. There is usually confusion when a parent’s holiday visitation starts and ends. Does it start on the day of the Holiday, the day before, the weekend before, the Monday before? There’s no end to the interpretations I hear.

In Texas, the custody and possession orders will define “school” to be the actual campus where the child attends for education. If the child is not of typical school age, i.e., Pre-K or younger, then the visitation schedule follows the holiday calendar of the local school district where the child resides.

Daycare schedules DO NOT dictate the holiday visitation schedule. Yes, a parent can use the daycare while they are at work, but pickups and drop offs would be at the discretion of the parent who has the child with them over the holiday. Most daycares do not have the same attendance requirements as schools.

It is important to check your specific Order and make sure of the terms used. If a holiday starts “when school is dismissed” for the holiday and the holiday ends “at 6:00pm the evening before school resumes,” then you check the school’s calendar to see when school lets out for the holiday and when it resumes. If school lets out on Friday and the following week is a holiday then that’s when the holiday visitation starts, when school is dismissed on Friday, not the following Monday. If school resumes on a Tuesday after the holiday then the holiday visit ends Monday evening.

It is important to review your Court Order, find the holiday visitation section, then review the school calendar for where the child(ren) attend school. Those give you all the information you need to determine you holiday visitation beginnings and ends.

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