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What custody rules apply when parents live far from each other?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2021 | Child Custody

Some Texas families encounter an additional challenge when figuring out how to manage custody because the parents’ homes are located more than 100 miles from each other. This type of distance can complicate customary parenting arrangements, but there are specific rules for how parents can handle this.

During the school year

During this period of time, parents might opt to keep visitation schedules for noncustodial parents during the weekends. However, the distance between the parents’ homes can be challenging. In those cases, parents might decide to have a regular weekend visitation schedule that gives the noncustodial parent visitation on the first, third, and fifth weekends of the month. They might also choose to have visitation just one weekend a month.

During vacation

When children are not in school due to spring break or summer vacation, parents who live far from each other have the option to handle these breaks in different ways. This may include:
• The children spending all of their spring break with the noncustodial parent, from 6 p.m. on the last day of school before vacation until 6 p.m. the day before school begins again
• The noncustodial parent providing written notice that they are choosing 42 consecutive days of extended visitation in the summer
• The noncustodial parent providing the custodial parent with written notice that they would like a regular visitation schedule during summer months, which includes 21 days with the noncustodial parent

During the summer, visitation must be completed in two or fewer sessions of at least seven days each. For most choices, the noncustodial parent must provide advanced notice to the custodial parent. Even if the parents live far apart, giving the noncustodial parent longer visitation during school breaks allows them to spend more time with the child.