The Texas Family Code standard possession order (SPO) is the schedule followed by most divorced parents in this state. Since it is designed to be the presumed minimum schedule, it is very detailed and contains many notice provisions that apply to both parents. One of those important notice provisions is coming up on April 1st.

A parent awarded possession and access to the children as a possessory conservator who resides 100 miles or less apart from the primary residence of the child may by April 1st of each year specify his summer possession by written notice to the managing conservator as follows:

• 30 days: • between the day after school dismisses for summer vacation and seven days before school resumes at the end of summer vacation • to be exercised in no more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days

If a parent does not give the notice by April 1, then their summer possession will be from 6 p.m. on July 1 through 6 p.m. on July 31.

A parent awarded possession and access to the children as a possessory conservator who resides over 100 miles from the primary residence of the child may by April 1st of each year specify his summer possession by written notice to the managing conservator as follows:

• 42 days: • between the day after school dismisses for summer vacation and seven days before school resumes at the end of summer vacation • to be exercised in no more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days

If a parent residing over 100 miles does not give the notice by April 1, then their summer possession will be from 6 p.m. on June 15 through 6 p.m. on July 27.

Written notice is defined in the SPO to include electronic mail (email) or facsimile, and is deemed timely made if received or postmarked before or at the time the notice is due. Note: the SPO does not include text or other electronic messaging as a way to give notice.

So don’t be an April Fool; provide notice of your summer possession by April 1st, and most of all enjoy that time with your children.