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Alternative Possession

Alternative Possession

 For most people, the standard possession order (SPO) works well. For others, such as police, EMT, or firefighters, the SPO creates more problems than it solves. There are alternative possession schedules that are more appropriate for parents with these types of jobs, as long you can overcome the presumption that the SPO is in the best interest of the child.


Firefighters and EMS personnel usually have extreme work schedules; oftentimes following a pattern of 24 hours on and 48 hours off. In these circumstances it makes it very difficult for a firefighter or paramedic to have a standard possession order. Structuring a schedule in such a way that the possession works around this work schedule causes less stress for all involved and allows the first responder the ability to have a relationship with the child.


Depending on the department, police officers can work anywhere from a normal 5 on 2 off schedule, to a 4 on and 3 off schedule or some variation of the two. In these cases, just as above, it is imperative that your possession schedule fits the first responder's work schedule.

Oil Field Workers

Oil field workers typically stay in man-camps on-site in the fields for two weeks at a time and have one week at home. This makes it difficult for the roughneck to follow a SPO.

Airline Pilot/Flight Attendant

Airline employees, including pilots and flight attendants, usually don't work regular schedules, not even regular schedules in the sense of those above. In the case of an airline employee, it's much more important to carve out time on-the-fly for the non-possessory parent. This is done with written notice as soon as the airline employee knows his or her schedule.