Schedule Around The Texas Standard Possession Order With Ease
This is a transcript from a video recorded on October 28, 2020 between Paul Propst of The Unmarried Father and Dr. Samie Farid of Our Days Calendar. Please note the free trial offered is for thirty days – not three months as stated in the video footage.
P = Paul Probst, Unmarried Father
S = Samie, Our Days Calendar
P: Followers this is Paul Probst down here in Texas. This time instead of coming at you with some co parenting tools like I normally do, I’ve got something else. I’ve ran across a great child custody calendar resource from my friend Samie in Houston, another fellow Texan, that has had to deal with what we deal with in Texas (Standard Possession Order). But this time this is with scheduling, and how to make scheduling a little bit simpler, so you don’t have to go back and forth with the other parent as well as our attorneys. Because this is all about creating a more efficient way of not running our billable hours up (divorce law). So, my friend Samie with Our Days Calendar has created a better way to put the child custody calendar together and take what is in your verbiage within your order so everybody can understand it properly. So, without further ado I’d like for you all to meet my friend Samie.
Here Is Why Our Texas Child Custody Calendar Works
S: Paul, it’s a pleasure to be here, its nice of you to have me on this chat today. I’m certain you and those of you who are watching this conversation will be pleased to hear what we are about to present, child custody calendar. So yeah, you are absolutely right. I am one single parent just like yourself Paul. In my case I’ve been separated or divorced for the last 3 years and I’ve been following the Texas Standard Possession Order ever since. That was the background to the idea of Our Days Calendar. Knowing the details concerning visitation schedule, the first, third, and fifth weekends of the month as well as which months have five weekends. How do you track and keep an eye on it if it is really my weekend now, or am I following the fifth weekend from last month? Thanksgivings, Christmas Breaks, all of that. So, it started like that Paul, as you know very well, we started with a paper and had to figure out where do we have the paper? I really needed something online. I was looking everywhere online, with divorced parents, lawyers, forums, trying to see if there was anything to simplify this calendar for me so I don’t have to call my lawyer every time. Spending all that time trying to figure out, “what does that mean” in this Standard Possession Order. So, I started with that and that was the beginning of Our Days Calendar. I came to the idea that we have got to make it as simple as possible for the parents so that that time can reflect onto their kids. We started with a group, a small group, of computer engineers and data engineers trying to understand the legal part with our lawyer’s (texas divorce attorney) help. And we worked out a very simplified child custody calendar where you can see which day you have your child in a matter of minutes. You input your information based on your specific divorce decree. Following the Standard Possession Order of Texas you can easily track and see what is going on.
P: Now you guys are able to track the only two schedules that are in the Texas family law code, the Standard Possession Order, and the Extended Standard Possession Order, is that right?
S: That is correct, absolutely right! It’s interesting, you mention the Expanded or Extended Possession Order because when you get your decree, it’s not clear whether you have that or don’t have that. Maybe sometime during the divorce process your lawyer has explained all the details. So, of course if you have the Expanded Standard Possession Order which most of us single parents of Texas have, that means that you have some extra days that you can spend with your child. That is also covered in Our Days Calendar. Of course, minimum input coming from you as a user is, “are you the custodial or non-custodial parent” and “are you following the Standard Protection Order or the Expanded Standard Protection Order”.
The Texas Standard Possession Order Is Complex. Your Child Custody Calendar Doesn't Have To Be.
P: The other thing is that the majority of the parents in the state of Texas have the Standard Possession Order. I’m glad we are talking about the Extended or Expanded Possession Order. A lot of parents don’t know about the Extended unless they ask or know about it or their attorney tells them about it. That’s what blows my mind about it as far as the family law side of it. Its kinda like creating a monster to go back and modify, because I’m sure you can relate along with all of our followers. You enter into this mess and you have no idea what to do, and then its after the fact that you start reaching out to other groups and organizations such as mine and yours. Then you obtain the knowledge, then they go, “Wait a minute. I can get more time with my child? I can get an overnight every Thursday? I can pick my child up from school on Friday? I can drop my child off at school on Monday?” by getting the Extended or Expanded Standard Possession Order. Because you guys are using that kind of verbiage and setting it up, I think that it’s great because having that tool out there for people to see. If you guys can mainstream this and get it out there so that it is a simple google search on child custody calendar I think that would be great!
S: Absolutely Paul, I can relate to every point you mentioned. Starting with the decree itself, the lawyer is going to explain all of the details of the divorce. Not only the child possession, but the financials, how you are splitting things, and what implication the divorce has on your future as well. The schedule is so complicated, where a lot of other places in the world have made it much simpler by using a week on week off and alternating holidays schedule. We have terms that you mentioned, Expanded Standard Protection Order, Standard Protection Order, First, Third, and Fifth weekends. At the time that you are going through that, no matter how much time you put into it, its not easy to remember all of the details. You mentioned a few of those, like the fact you can pick up your child if you have the Expanded Standard Protection Order on a Thursday and drop him off on a Monday morning. We talked about the summer schedule where you think you have 30 days, and you are taking your child on a trip, hoping that you are going to spend that time with your child. But halfway through you remember that your other co-parent has put in a weekend break and they can do that within a couple weeks. Those are the things that are in the Possession Orders that can be hard to keep track of during the divorce and after the divorce as well. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times now, but we as divorced parents have to keep track of what weekend it is. Because the implication of what happens next month determines if I have my son on back to back weekends or not. So with that mindset, we created Our Days Calendar. It’s gonna be easy for anyone to use this child custody calendar from your computer, laptop, and cell phone. We are planning on updating the tool to create an App version as well. As it stands, as long as you can connect to the internet you can easily access this tool. You can put in your details in a matter of minutes and you will only have to log in once. I can totally relate with what you are saying, the stress of not knowing in the beginning of the divorce can lead to a lot of stress with your co-parent due to strained communication. There is a lot going on in that divorce so you would rather minimize the amount of communication. So, Our Days Calendar helps with that part. In a perfect world Paul, you and I know, parents would co-parent very well, communicate very easily, and a calendar like this wouldn’t be needed. But the reality is, most of the time, once you have been divorced you want to minimize unhelpful communication. And that is what we have Our Days Calendar for.
Learn more here at Our Days Calendar
Standard Possession Order and Extended Standard Possession Order
P: You know, what I think is really nice about this is that unfortunately in all of the states, but specifically what I know, what I have the most experience in, is the Texas Law Code. They have kind of rubber stamped it, to try to make it easy with the Standard Possession Order and the Expanded Standard Possession Order. However, the way the verbiage is has left it kind of up for interpretation. How is one going to interpret that? So, with this, this kind of takes the guesswork out of that. Because you guys have put in the time. I personally have played around with this child custody calendar, its very easy to use, it lays it all out, and is completely accurate. I have checked it; I know how the schedules fall and it is completely accurate. I have checked it. This child custody calendar takes the guesswork out of it. This is what it is. You separate your holidays from even and odd years with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break. Even within under or over the 100 miles. I think I forgot to touch on this but if you are over the 100 miles, you get 42 days with no interruption of a weekend in there. And that really takes the guesswork out of it. Personally, from what I see on my end through The Unmarried Father and the other organizations I’m connected with as far as trying to establish communication through co-parenting, you have people whose emotions are raw. At least one, sometimes its both, they just want to argue. So, you put this information in, and you put it out there and there is nothing to argue about. It is what it is and you put it out there in simple layman form. I understand it is a complicated process to get it to where you guys have got it. But it is there and now it is simple, and I think that is a very huge resourceful, impactful tool. There are a lot of tools out there that aren’t that good.
S: Those are some really good points Paul, and that’s the mindset we went into it with. We didn’t want to open up a calendar that hadn’t been well verified and tested. So of course, I tested it against my own schedule, and I did that. We passed it on to multiple other parents, who tested it and came back with feedback. So far, with that knowledge we have managed to nail it. If anything, there have been more features that have been requested. Can I use the App to communicate with my ex-wife, so I don’t need to use another app? Can I take pictures? Those are features we have in our back log and we would like to build on these ideas. But what we have created, is the simplicity you mentioned. A simple child custody calendar. You talk about the other calendars that are out there, and there is nobody that is doing this. That has been our experience as well. There are multiple calendars that claim to be “divorced parent calendars” but what they really are, are just calendars that you have to input your information manually. So it makes it no different than a Google calendar or an outlook calendar or the calendar you have on your phone. This idea, the biggest idea of our days calendar benefit there is that me with minimal amount of imports I’m going to get a calendar that is based on my standard position order of Texas rules of a complicated and it’s time consuming and is very expensive as you know very well to connect with your lawyer every time you want to understand what is that what does this mean now I mean there is a weekend followed by a holiday. With extra time is my child’s birthday but he is supposed to be with his mom I want to see my child you know those are all the things that is in your standard position order overly complicated.
The Future of Child Custody Calendaring Or Scheduling Around Texas SPO
P: I am glad you brought up to the child’s birthday one thing that I hear from a lot of parents so in the in the state of Texas under these two schedules the non-custodial parent gets two hours on the child’s birthday. I believe that time is from 6 PM to 8 PM now however what happens and what happens if the parents decide to allow extra time for that birthday time let’s say for example that one both won the custodial parent normally is what you see here is trying to have the control here goes know from 6 to 8 that’s not enough time on the child’s birthday let’s a while from 4 PM to 8 PM so now you’re gaining an extra two hours were this schedule.
Comes in to play which I think would be extremely beneficial because I see this a lot more people do agree they set up two hours is it enough the problem is when the child’s birthday falls on a Sunday on a first third and fifth weekend and the birthday time is from 4 PM to 8 PM here’s the problem the noncustodial parent view this as my time got extended from Sunday from 6 PM to 8 PM or that the custodial parent can view this as a my weekend. Your weekend ends at 4 PM which is true that they’re in that scenario the custodial parent is true so with that being said was custom orders in and we’re starting to see that I am in the state of Texas with people coming up with their own custom orders is there a way to put their custom orders in to play in this child custody calendar
S: That’s a very good point. I’m going to give you a yes and yes more. Not a no because we already have the option to modify like you said if you the parents agreed that we got a deviated stay we want to swap dates then that’s the possibility that is in Our Days Calendar right now. With a simple click change the color there and of course you are custodian of your own calendar so whatever you put in the calendar is going to put it that way so if you decide to switch the dates there, then of course with the assumption that you have already verified with your ex-spouse. What I’m saying no to is where we can automate based on a calendar that is specified and customized outside of the standard possession order from the court point of view. So, if the court has agreed no we’re not gonna follow stand the position order to full we are going to give one parents extra weeks or extra days. We don’t have that specific customization of their calendar. However, on the individual days which is most of the people who are will use this kind of child custody calendar. They are looking for days here and there, at most may be a bit here and there modifiable and that’s it exists already.
Alternative To Our Family Wizard Calendar
P: Ok I got you, and that’s a great option to make it up to make it custom to fit because there are two common resources out; Our Family Wizard and Talking Parents. Now Our Family Wizard costs a little bit of money Talking Parents cost some money because it is way low level like 10 bucks a month or something like that. Now with that neither one of those two resources are offering how you guys are plug-and-play so what are your future plans to I don’t even want to see compete I want to say to be the best to be the best resource plug-in out there for co parenting ability to happen what is your plan to skip to pass the competition goodbye what they’re offering what are you what are your future plans?
S: Very good Paul, I like this question. You’re absolutely right, Our Family Wizard is appearing there on the searches and I’m one of those that were also asked to use it during my divorce and started using it and you said it yourself try it it’s not anything response to try that calendars it’s not a divorce calendar it’s a calendar as any calendar they don’t have that automatization what is going to be your future well you already started was that on this route right now we are having to only calendar the days up there. It is amazing it’s like SPO or Standard Position Order and ESPO so we know whether divorced parents coming from I’ve been living that myself you’ve been living that yourself so I believe when did he ask him for imports I’m hearing from other people it’s not from a computer engineer who doesn’t know what you’re going through be getting those inputs and we are going to go out. Be better than our family wizard that is our vision because we know what is out there we know the technology stays out there what is the cell phone can do you do you wanna improve the calendar because our calendar is already there. I know we could easily communicate with each other at all but this wouldn’t be needed if that was our day today but right now we are not there.
P: Yeah and you know and that’s what I like about it. When that was when I first heard about this child custody calendar and what resource Our Days Calendar was providing that’s what got my attention was the how can this how can this cut down on having potential conflict. I teach coparents or I facilitate coparenting classes and I am also a mentor and a navigator with single people that will people that are single-handedly trying to seek resources and then couples together as well as coparent and I’m sorry, not couples, co-parents.
They’re there to two parents who are just without trying to make it work. But I mean that’s what I like because I brought in that perspective of what do I always hear? Well the problem is when people are going through this, that is what complicates a lot of it is there’s too much communication. It’s way too much, there’s too many invitations there for an argument and you know it. And I see this as a resource to mitigate a lot of things that don’t even need to turn into an argument.
S: Yeah no, again it is easier to talk with you about this because you’re going through the same thing this calendar and time with your child you will never get away from. This is it, you can’t you can stop talking about who is going to live so far from the house or who argues about things that’s happened that you can’t control but you cannot control that the fact that you have to timeshare with your ex-wife or ex-husband. So, you know, this removes that totally, because transparent is following the rules there is no, as you said, there is no place for arguments there. You can follow everything with your lawyer and see he’s got anything else, but this is our decree. Especially these are very difficult times to let me measure a couple of those talk about Christmas, 28th of December the child needs to go to the other parents at 12 PM. This is where this really gets all of that gets confusing right, and you have to keep track of that and not to mention talking about difficulty as for us as adults right. You talk about that but how many of the people who have been in going through this sad divorce parenting not being through the process that either himself or the other parent I forgotten that this is actually there Friday to pick up the child.
It’s not that easy Paul, your work you mentioned, due to COVID and some people lose this, did you lose your job. The stress that you have around you and everything on top of that you have a schedule that is that complicated that you need to keep ion it’s not that easy. If you’re talking about as adults remember the child that is standing there waiting on the outside of the school waiting for someone to come and pick him up. Well who’s going to pick you up you today? My son is six years old and I’ve gone through the process that his mom forgot that it was her weekend to stop so it is there is real and I think let’s not forget the benefits but we are talking about you and of course it is it is that this trial. If you put in there as well whoever wants to go and try this you’ve tried it, I’m using it, for people who are using it then.
You can see that for three months* we can we are providing a free trial . Anyone who wants to use this can go and test it and see how that works for them. I think it will tell its own story there.
*Correction: free trial is thirty days.
So How Do I Get Started With Our Days Calendar?
P: So you offer you offer a free trial for three months?*
S: Yeah well that’s what we’re doing, this offer is out right now and anyone who wants to use it they can easily go in and register login register you can do that with your Google account you can do it with your email. There is multiple login options there once you’re there immediately to start on your three months free trial.* There is no commitment, you don’t need to provide any bank details, your address or anything like that. If you’re satisfied after three months,* you get a prompt in the tool. If you want to see more then you have to subscribe to the tool and that’s why we are happy to offer and letting anyone who gives feedback for any testing anything that they see that they want to see improvements in the tool I’m really open to that. I think that this will tell it’s story very nicely, simplicity, and the fact that it works.
*Correction: free trial is 30 days.
P: What is the cost, and how is it payed? Is it payed on a monthly basis or a yearly basis?
S: So we offer three products right now, in each there is three ways of paying for this so you can go with the six months I think it’s just short of a $30, for a whole year it’s $55. So certainly, way less than Our Family Wizard where you can go for 24 months or 2 years subscription and you pay once it’s $99. So, it works in less than if you go for a year say it works less than a five dollar a month which you’re paying in one go there.
P: Yeah that’s got a lot of value
We would like to thank Paul Propst of The Unmarried Father On Facebook for his support and conversation:
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