New Law Regarding Standard Possession Order
The Texas Legislature has adjourned and made some changes to the Texas Family Code. One of those changes involves the Texas Standard Possession Order. As a Dallas Divorce Lawyer, I think it is important to know these changes. Keep in mind that the Governor has not signed the bill yet; so, there remains the possibility that he may veto the bill, although I do not find that likely.
HB 1012 clarifies the default time for the beginning and ending of a possession period to be 6:00 p.m. Prior to this clarification, there were placed in the Texas Standard Possession Order that did not specify an exchange time or were unclear. This makes it clear that the default time is 6:00 p.m. unless there is a specific statement otherwise. To overcome this default time, a conservator may request the court to impose an alternate beginning and ending time, such as beginning at the time school is dismissed for the period of possession. The court must accept the request for the altered time, unless the parent opposed to the time change shows a reason it is not in the child’s best interest.
Note, the parent making the election must do so when the order providing for the possession schedule is rendered. That means that the possession schedule will be set in stone (subject only to the agreement of the parties to deviate) when the order is entered. Neither parent can make an election to change the time of exchange later.