W. Tyler Moore, PC

Where will a child in Texas spend the holidays after a divorce?


Once the turkey has been eaten, football games have been watched and "Black Friday" shoppers have flocked to Houston stores in droves, this means the start of the winter holiday season is upon us. Soon will come the time of gift-giving, feasting and celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another. However, this time of year can be complicated for parents who are divorced, particularly when it comes to child custody.

For those parents who have not negotiated a parenting plan out of court, Texas statutes dictate who will have the child over certain holidays, no matter how far apart the parents live from one another. Under Texas Family Code section 153.314, the possessory conservator will have the child in their care on even-numbered years starting at 6:00 p.m. on the day their child gets out of school for the winter holiday break and ending at 12:00 p.m. on December 28, and the managing conservator will have the child in their care for the same time period on odd-numbered years. On the odd-numbered years, the roles will be reversed, and the possessory conservator will have the child starting at 12:00 p.m. on December 28 and going until 6:00 p.m. on the day prior to the start of school following winter break, and the managing conservator will have the child in their care for the same time period on even-numbered years.

When it comes to Thanksgiving, the possessory conservator will have the child over that holiday on odd-numbered years, and the managing conservator will have the child over that holiday on even-numbered years. When it is the child's birthday, the parent who does not have possession of the child at that time will have possession of the child from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the child's birthday, so long as the parent picks up the child from the home of the conservator who would normally have possession of the child, and returns the child to that conservator's home. If he is a conservator, the father will have the child Father's Day weekend, and if she is a conservator, the mother will have the child on Mother's Day weekend.

This is only a brief overview of the laws regarding conservatorship over the holidays. Parents going through a divorce in Texas who want to know how the laws regarding conservatorships over the holidays will affect them may want to discuss the matter with their family law attorneys.

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