The Texas Family Code standard possession order contains a schedule of weekend possession on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the month. But when does the weekend start? Per Texas Family Code § 153.312 weekends begin on Fridays. Why is this important? Isn’t that obvious? Let’s look at September and October of this year and see.
When there is 5th Friday of the month as there will be next month; Friday, September 30th is the beginning of the 5th weekend in September; even though the next day, Saturday, is the 1st day of October. So for the purposes of the standard possession order, that weekend is not the 1st weekend in October, but the 5th weekend in September, even though Friday is the only day in September in that weekend.
5th weekends of the month are not routine and occur on average 2-3 times in any given calendar year; just often enough to cause confusion by a quick glance at the 1st “calendar” weekend of a month, instead of looking at the calendar month in which the Friday of the weekend falls.
Also, when there is a 5th weekend in a month, the next weekend will be the 1st weekend of the following month since it will begin with the 1st Friday of that month. In our example, Friday, October 7th will be the beginning of the 1st weekend in October.
This means that a parent with possession times under the standard possession order will have the children two weekends in a row: the 5th weekend of the month and the 1st weekend of the next month.
While determining the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of a month under the standard possession order may not be as obvious as one would think, being aware of the effect of those 5th Fridays should help with weekend planning for parents and children alike.