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The Standard Possession Order in Texas comprises of a weekend possession calendar, which is normally the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends and a Thursday during the school year, for a weekday period of possession. You also have to include a possession calendar for the holiday schedule. You would determine when the holiday schedule would actually begin based on the school district that your child is enrolled in, or if your child is not enrolled in school, the school district that he would be enrolled in.

To determine when your holidays would start, we would technically include Thanksgiving. One year is to one custodial parent. The following year the second custodial parent would have that holiday. So you would rotate, even in odd years. There are two halves of Christmas Break every year. Typically, the parent who exercised the Thanksgiving holiday will then have the second half of Christmas Break so that the other parent will then have Christmas. And you guys will rotate that every year.

Typically, Christmas Break does start from the beginning of the Christmas Break or Winter Break for the school year and ends at noon on the 28th with the second parent picking up noon 28th and returning the child after school begins following the Christmas Break. You guys will rotate that every year. There’s also Spring Break every year. Again, custodial parents will rotate years even in odd years. Mother’s Day will have Mother’s Day weekends for mothers. Fathers will have Father’s Day weekends for fathers. The extended 30 day summer time, 30 days for the non-custodial parent. Then there are the children’s birthdays. If you are in possession of your child on your child’s birthday, then the other custodial parent may come and pick up the child and the child’s siblings from 6 to 8 p.m. on their birthday to take them to dinner.

All of these standard possession orders and schedules for your children are in lieu of the two of you actually having an agreement between the two of you of when you want to actually exchange your children. If the two of you decide we’re going to do our schedule and put this order away in a drawer and never look at it, that is great and that is fine. But the minute you cannot agree, then you will refer to the order because that would be the least amount of time you would be entitled to.

Ramos Law Group, PLLC, your family law team of experts.

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Things not to do during your divorce process. Don’t date. Don’t do drugs. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t use your children as pawns or put them in the middle. Don’t dredge on the past of your divorce process. Let the past be the past. We’re trying to move forward. It’s not gonna be beneficial emotionally or financially for you to focus on the past when we’re trying to get you moving forward. If you need counseling to deal with issues in the past, that’s probably a good idea to seek counseling or a support group in some form or fashion. Let us guide you in the divorce process and make sure you don’t step in any of those land mines in moving forward. We wanna make sure you get through the divorce process in the least financially impacting way and the most beneficial for you family and your situation.

Ramos Law Group, PLLC, your family law team of experts.

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Divorce can get expensive, especially when you have people that won’t agree to things. So attorneys get involved and expenses skyrocket. One of the ways that you can consider in reducing your attorney fees during the divorce process is to communicate via email to your attorney when you have questions and concerns. At my office, we request that you actually send them, questions one through five or so, in an email, so that they can be addressed and dealt with. We have an office policy to return all emails within a 24 hour period.

Another way is for you to gather documents, and do as much homework as you can do on your own to provide for us. The less amount of time that we have to actually work on your case, the less expensive it is for you, or another thing you can do to reduce the expenses would be to create a timeline of your case for me. I need a story. Your divorce case is a story, and the only way I’m going to be able to give that story, or to relay that story to the judge is to know what exactly is going on. This is your case, this is your marriage, these are your children, this is your life.

I need to know as much of the detail as possible so that I can relay that same concern to the judge. It’s like drawing a picture in a coloring book, and then coloring it in with as much detail as possible. We as people actually learn through pictures. And if I can portray that picture and that story to the judge, or the finder of fact, I am in a better position, better reach the goals that we have set out in your case for you. You’re my client, and I plan on fighting for you and your case.

Ramos Law Group, PLLC, your family team of experts.

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Do we even need to go to court?

As soon as we file some type of response, we notify the opposing counsel, and from that point we will then attempt to see if we can do something by agreement, put temporary orders in place, have temporary injunctions in place that say that neither party will cancel insurances or accounts or transfer moneys. That just is to maintain everything status quo until we can actually divide the community estate between the parties.

Once we do that, we may have an option to attend mediation. Mediation is required on all cases before a final trial is heard before the judge, but most of the times it is very helpful to have the parties mediate as soon as we get started and obtain financial information about the parties and their divorce situation.

Ramos Law Group, PLLC, your family law team of experts.

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There is a parenting class that’s required, a four hour parenting class, and some courts require different classes, depending. Now this is a class that I ask my clients to take from the beginning, so that they have that knowledge and information to utilize during the case. The parenting class normally doesn’t teach you how to be a parent, but it teaches you how to communicate now in two different households. It is very difficult to discipline in one household when you have kids. Now that we’re in two separate households, it makes it extremely difficult. And children learn how to manipulate their parents, and parents need to be on the same page with how they’re gonna go forward and address these issues.

Parents that don’t talk to each other, children will pick up on that, and they’re gonna manipulate their parents and say what each parent wants to hear. So if you are on the same page with the other parent, you can address all parent concerns with the other parent and not through your child. It’s just a better way to protect your child from being impacted with the divorce process and let them be free and be a child, as they should be. Co-parenting is very important because you will both be parents for the rest of your natural lives.

You’re my client, and I plan on fighting for you and your case. Ramos Law Group, PLLC, your family law team of experts.

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Video Transcription:

Normally when parents have an issue with communicating with each other, there is a great website that a lot of attorneys and judges use, called OurFamilyWizard. Now this is an online calendaring program where both parties can actually log in and create an account for their children. On this website, they can post the children’s extracurricular activities, doctors’ appointments, they can even include requests for exchanges of weekends and whether or not the other custodial parent will actually accept or deny those exchanges. And you can post uninsured medical expenses all to the same website.

One of the benefits is that you can’t go in and change the information from the website and if a judge wants to, they can always log in, and look, and review the communications between the parties. If you have a disagreement about whether or not you exchanged weekends, or agreed to a different schedule other than your order that’s in place, you can also refer to the website as a means of documenting what happens.

I also like clients to consider using this website because when you come in for a divorce, you have to create a story and a history of your relationship, and address the concerns that you’ve had with the other parent, regarding your children or any other situation. If you maintain participation through Our Family Wizard website, then that’s all been documented for you, and you can just hit print and we will have all of that documentation ready to go, and it’s in admissible form for the court. The courts now are actually requiring a lot of parties to participate through Our Family Wizard, and this is a good way to keep everybody accountable for their actions.

Ramos Law Group, PLLC, your family law team of experts.

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