What is the Standard Possession Order?

The Standard Possession Order “SPO” is outlined in the Texas Family Code as the terms of possession and access between conservators and their children that are presumed to be in the best interest of the children. A court will typically order the SPO unless: (1) the conservators agree to something different; (2) the SPO is inappropriate or unworkable because of a work schedule or other special circumstances; or (3) the age, developmental status, circumstances, needs or other relevant factors.

In general, the SPO provides that the non-primary parent or conservator will have possession of the children on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the month, Thursday evenings during the school year, and for an extended period during the summer months. The SPO also provides standard terms for possession of the children during holidays, birthdays, spring breaks. But it is not that simple. The SPO also makes a distinction between conservators or parents who reside within 100 miles of each other from those who reside more than 100 miles apart, and the SPO also provides the non-primary parent or conservator with the right to elect to have alternating beginning and ending periods of possession.

The SPO is too complicated to adequately explain in a single blog post. Every parent, conservator, or other person involved in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship needs to be sure that they read and understand all of the detailed provisions of the SPO before their suit is finalized.

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