The Law Office of Zoe Meigs, P.C.
Dedicated To Your Goals & Future

What does a standard possession order mean in child custody?

Texas law provides parents with several ways to make child custody arrangements. However, there is a catch: both parents must agree on the child custody arrangement. When parents fail to come to an agreement about custody and visitation, then the courts will step in and make custody decisions.

Texas courts rely on a schedule called the standard possession order or SPO to make these decisions. Developed by the Texas Legislature, the SPO gives the non-custodial parent visitation rights on the following schedule: every other weekend starting at 6 pm on Friday and ending at 6 pm on Sunday. The SPO divides school holidays evenly between parents.

Obviously, such strict times do not suit all situations so the Texas Legislature enacted the expanded standard possession order in 1995. Through the expanded SPO, parents choose different beginning and ending times for the visitation periods. However, it is important to note that the changes to these times must be made during or before a judge sings off on the SPO. The change in visitation start and end times can be requested by the noncustodial orally in court or by filing a written request with the court.

While Texas courts consider all of the evidence before making decisions about child custody, it is often much better when the two parents can decide without this intervention. By working with a family law attorney serving Texas, parents can often come to a mutually beneficial child custody arrangement outside of the courtroom. As long as the agreement is fair to the parents and is in the best interests of the child, Texas judges will usually accept these agreements.

Source: State Bar of Texas, "Pro Se Divorce Handbook," accessed Aug. 25, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Hear what my Clients say

"Ms. Meigs makes thoughtful recommendations based on research. She is also compassionate and has a real desire to help you through a difficult situation."

Email Us For A Response

Contact Me

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

603 E. Belknap St. #102 Fort Worth, TX 76102 Toll Free: 800-483-9142 Phone: 817-381-9905 Fax: 817-336-4448 Map & Directions