Father’s Day is a celebration of fatherhood. It is a day to recognize and honor the great dads out there and the contributions they make to their children’s lives. This celebration may be different for parents who are not married or do not live together, but it should be no less special. Through co-parenting and planning, Father’s Day can be a cherished memory for fathers and their children.

In Texas, most parents have holiday possession under what is called the Standard Possession Order. Based on the Standard Possession Order, fathers will have Father’s Day possession of their children for the weekend beginning on the Friday before Father’s Day and ending either the evening of Father’s Day or the morning after Father’s Day. This applies even if Father’s Day weekend would otherwise be a weekend the children would be with their mother.

Here are five tips for co-parenting on Father’s Day:

5 Tips for Co-Parenting on Father’s Day

1. Plan Ahead

Transitioning from the daily schedule into a holiday schedule can be easier and less stressful when you and your co-parent communicate and plan ahead. Look at the calendar in advance to see whose weekend Father’s Day falls on. If it is a weekend that the father would have the children anyway, then there may not be much planning to do as far as scheduling goes. If it is a weekend the children would be with their mother, then the parents should discuss the change in schedule and how it impacts each parent and the children. For example, if Father’s Day weekend would result in the father having multiple weekends in a row, parents may want to consider trading the weekends that come before or after Father’s Day weekend or splitting those weekends in half so that the focus of Father’s Day weekend can be the celebration it is meant to be and not a source of angst for the other parent or the children.

2. Be a United Front

No matter how much planning ahead parents do, and regardless of each parent’s willingness to work together, it can be still difficult to come up with a schedule that feels perfect for both parents. Even if the transition into or following Father’s Day is less than ideal, it is important that parents appear as a united team when explaining the schedule or plan to the children. If the children sense that Father’s Day or Father’s Day weekend is a source of conflict or discontent for either parent, it could negatively impact how they perceive this special occasion. Both parents should actively encourage the children to celebrate their father on Father’s Day. 

3. Be Flexible

Many children have blended or extended families. If it is important to your children to celebrate a stepfather or grandfather with whom they have a strong bond, try to create a schedule that allows your children to share their love and time with those special people in their lives. With some planning and flexibility, there should be a way for your children to spend time with and celebrate the meaning of Father’s Day with all of their loved ones.    

4. Create Happy Expectations

Part of planning does not have anything to do with the schedule. Help your children plan how they want the day to go and let them get excited about it. Ask your children in advance what they would like to get their father for Father’s Day and encourage them to make or pick out something meaningful that is from them to their father. Let your children know that you appreciate their father’s contributions to their lives and give your children guilt-free permission to celebrate their father and enjoy Father’s Day to its fullest. If you create the expectation that this will be a happy day for your children and their father, this will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

5. Have a Great Day

Father’s Day is a day for celebration, and you should avoid bringing up topics that could lead to conflict with your co-parent. Hopefully, with all the planning ahead and co-parenting you have done, Father’s Day will be a day that your children look forward to each year. All that is left to do now is create and enjoy wonderful memories. 

Have Questions About Possession Schedules in Texas?

If you have any questions about how possession schedules can change due to holidays or if you’d like to modify your child custody or visitation agreement in Texas, contact us at our Austin, Plano or Dallas office! Our family law attorneys at GoransonBain Ausley can help.

Angel J. Berbarie

“I not only look at the legal aspect of the case, I consider the human element as well, and work to protect my clients’ well-being and the well-being of their families.” — Angel J. Berbarie