Visitation and access is always a key issue in any divorce case involving children. Because of its importance the legislature has promulgated guidelines for the courts to use in ordering visitation and access in divorce cases.  These guidelines are referred to in the Texas Family Code as the “Standard Possession Order”.  It behooves anyone considering divorce to review and understand this order, since it will very likely influence the visitation and access the court will order in your divorce case.

    The provision is intended to outline which parent is to have the children at what times, and how the children are to be exchanged between the parents.  The order provides for a weekly plan, as well as provisions for the standard holidays.  The Standard Possession Order also takes into consideration the distance the parents live from each other.

    A very important feature of the order is one of the very first sections, that states:

    “IT IS ORDERED AND DECREED that the parties shall have possession of the child at any and all times mutually agreed to in advance by the parties and, in the absence of mutual agreement, shall have possession of the child under the specified terms set out in this Standard Possession Order.”

    This provision indicates the importance the legislature has placed on the parents working together for the benefit of their children.