Working Through Holiday Visitation Issues

Handling the Hustle of the Holidays

While the holiday season is certainly a time of joy and happiness with friends and family, this time of year can also lend itself to various issues revolving around visitation and custody. Every parent wants to spend time with their children, especially on significant days such as holidays, and this desire can often create problems with the other parent and even the child.

If the holidays are a problem with visitation, here are some things to consider to help this time of year go a bit smoother.

Texas Standard Possession

Lawmakers anticipated that the holidays could be a problem for visitation, so the Texas Family Code outlines a standard holiday possession and visitation order for parents to follow. This schedule typically includes the following components using Christmas as the example holiday:

  • During even-numbered years, a non-possessory conservator (or non-custodial parent) will have possession of their child from the time that they are dismissed from school until December 28, after which the possessory conservator (custodial parent) will have possession of the child from December 28 until the child returns to school.

  • This plan alternates during odd-numbered years, meaning the possessory conservator has possession of the child during Christmas and the non-possessory conservator will have possession of the child after December 28.

Simply put, if one parent has possession of their child for Christmas, the other parent will have possession of the child for both Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

What If I’m Being Denied My Rights?

While co-parents should abide by their custody order and follow what has been laid out for them, this does not always happen, unfortunately. Some parents try to withhold the other parent’s visitation rights and prevent their child from interacting with them. This type of willful act counts as breaking a custody order, and this allows the other parent to seek enforcement.

To get an enforcement order, you will need to show that denial of visitation is happening continuously; one isolated moment does not necessarily mean that you are being denied visitation, but a pattern of behavior could indicate otherwise.

Work with a Custody and Visitation Attorney

Parents who are struggling to see their children during the holidays should not fight their battles alone. Consult with a custody attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options and move forward with defending your rights. At Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress, our team is committed to protecting your parental rights and working toward the best possible outcome for both you and your child.


To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call us at (817) 497-8148 or visit us online.

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