With holidays coming up, it’s natural for divorced parents with split custody to wonder about how to handle them—and whether they can bring the kids along. Texas child custody laws can be confusing: Here’s what you need to know about how to handle holiday travel after a custody agreement. 

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be particularly precious, which often lead to disputes between co-parents. To prevent friction, the Texas Family Code usually provides a holiday schedule as part of the Standard Possession Order. Unlike summer, however, the holiday schedule is the same regardless of how far both parents live from each other. (Remember: this schedule overrides conflicting weekend periods of possession.)

Usually, it works like this: noncustodial parents have possession in even-numbered years beginning at 6 pm on the day the child is released from school, and ending at Noon on December 28th. On odd-numbered years, the noncustodial parent will have them from Noon on December 28th to the day before school resumes after Christmas break. Importantly, the same parents can’t have both Christmas and Thanksgiving with the children—unless you and your co-parent agree.

This pattern often holds for other school breaks, too: a noncustodial parent might have spring break during even years or odd ones, but never both. 

Luckily, informal modifications can often be made to any parenting plan to help allow for trips or vacations. An Intimate knowledge of your specific child custody agreement and a good working relationship with your co-parent is important to this: they make it possible to come up with more flexible, mutual, and informal relationships.

If you are looking ahead to the winter holidays and wondering how your child custody agreement will affect your plans, attorneys at Sandoval Family Law can help you understand your options—and figure out how to have the best family vacations possible.  

At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development