A parenting plan, the SPO and understanding possession and access

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2021 | Child Custody |

If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, your children and their future will be the top priority.

In Texas, divorcing parents must understand parenting plans and the meaning of a standard possession order as well as terms such as possession and access.


The Texas Family Code regards the standard possession order or SPO as the minimum amount of possession, or parenting time, you can spend with your children. Most court orders having to do with child custody include the SPO. The basic terms establish how often the noncustodial parent may have possession of a child. For example, he or she may have the child on Thursday nights, on certain weekends and a month in the summer.

Possession and access

Certain terms used in connection with Texas custody orders may be new to you. An example is “possession,” which refers to the actual time you spend with your child. “Access” refers to interaction with your child by phone, text messages or the use of social media. The term also includes having access to your child’s school, dental and medical records.

Your parenting plan

If you and your soon-to-be-ex can agree, you can create a visitation or possession schedule that is acceptable to you both. Texas courts look favorably on parenting plans that show this schedule. Your plan can address any aspects of co-parenting that meet the needs of your family. For example, in addition to the possession schedule, your plan can include information as to who pays for a child’s medical expenses, who takes the child to extracurricular activities and how you propose to handle family gatherings and other events. Remember that the court will always make decisions based on the best interests of the child.



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