In Texas, if the child custody visitation schedules are court-ordered they are typically either standard possession or expanded standard possession (alternate beginning and ending times). One parent will have the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence and then the non-primary parent has the visitation schedule. In contrast to the school year, summer and spring break visitation schedule, the holiday visitation schedule is regardless of distance between the parents’ residences and most courts only focus on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. However, additional holidays can be requested and ordered such as Easter, Halloween, etc.
In custody orders, holidays are divided out as even and odd years. So, if you are the primary parent you typically have odd Christmas and even Thanksgiving. A parent will not have the same year for both holidays. Because Christmas falls in an odd year this year, the primary parent would have possession of the child from the day the child is released from school until December 28 at noon. Texas Family Code Section 153.314 specifically sets out the language for the court orders and is follows:
Sec. 153.314. HOLIDAY POSSESSION UNAFFECTED BY DISTANCE PARENTS RESIDE APART. The following provisions govern possession of the child for certain specific holidays and supersede conflicting weekend or Thursday periods of possession without regard to the distance the parents reside apart. The possessory conservator and the managing conservator shall have rights of possession of the child as follows: