Practice Areas

Non-traditional Work and Possession Orders

The standard possession order is the only possession and access schedule found in the Texas Family Code. But the courts can still order visitation schedules that differ greatly from standard possession. While the standard possession order does provide predictability for the standard two-home arrangement for children, increasingly more parents find themselves in circumstances that are far from standard.

  • Visitation & custody orders for nontraditional work schedules
  • No definitive rule
  • Must further the best interest of the child

In today’s world, not every parent works a traditional nine-to-five job, Monday through Friday, with weekends off, as is assumed by the standard possession order. It has become much more common for both parents to work outside of the home and at differing hours and days. These situations often pose challenges for parents who are no longer amicable when they are both competing for a child’s time.

Because the standard possession order does not always fit within the parents’ schedules, Texas courts have liberty to deviate from standard possession if either party successfully demonstrates that the standard possession order would not be in the child’s best interest. If a parent can prove that an alternative possession and access schedule they are proposing furthers the best interest of the child, a court does have the discretion to order a customized possession and access schedule.

There is no definitive rule that indicates when a court is justified in deviating from the standard possession order. The lone factor that contributes to the decision has to do with what is perceived to be in the child’s best interest. In order to deviate from the standard possession order, one must rebut the presumption that standard possession is in the child’s best interest.

The public policy of the State of Texas is to ensure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in their child’s best interest. Your family law attorney should recognize and understand this policy and work with you to pursue a possession schedule that fits your individual needs and maximizes the quality time that you are able to spend with your child.

The attorneys at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing, & Anderson have experience in fighting the battles of possession and access schedules that deviate from the standard possession order. Where standard possession isn’t a viable solution, we will lead you through the process to maximize the quality and quantity of time between you and your child.