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What is conservatorship in Texas child custody?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2023 | Child Custody, Child Support

The legal word for custody in Texas is conservatorship with the custodial parent being the conservator. A court order is obligatory for any parent to have legal custody rights to a child. Without a court order, each parent would have equal rights to the child, and there would be no rules governing visitation or child support. Once a court appoints a parent as a conservator, that parent has the rights and duties to raise their child as they see best.

What are the types of conservatorships in Texas?

A managing conservatorship is what other states understand as having legal custody of the child. The legalese may seem more complex than other states, but you may realize many of the terms are interchangeable. Here are the types of conservatorships in Texas:

  • Joint managing conservatorship: Like joint legal custody, both parents have the authority and responsibility to decide on important issues of the child’s life. They have the shared legal control over matters involving the child’s education, health care, religion and overall upbringing. A possession order is necessary to determine how the parents will share physical custody of the child in a joint managing conservatorship.
  • Sole managing conservatorship: The court can appoint only one parent as the managing conservator, and the other parent may have to pay child support. The sole managing conservator has exclusive rights to any decision that can heavily impact the child.
  • Possessory conservatorship: When the court appoints one parent as the managing conservator, the other parent can still have possessory conservatorship. It means they still have visitation rights. The parent will have access to important information regarding the child’s life, albeit they have no control over these matters.

It may be confusing and traumatizing for a child to see their parents constantly fighting over matters integral to their rearing. Court intervention is necessary when parents cannot achieve a peaceful settlement.

Is joint managing conservatorship the best option?

The answer would depend on the parent’s relationship with the child and if either has a history of violence or substance abuse. You want to build a stable and conducive environment for your child. Although having both parents maintain an active role in their child’s life is ideal, circumstances can change for the worse. Know what is best for your child, and if necessary, fight for it.