Managing Conservatorship in Texas
If you are facing a divorce, one of your primary concerns is your child custody arrangements, which are referred to as conservatorship in the State of Texas. One of the most critical components of conservatorship is managing conservatorship (often called legal custody – as opposed to physical custody). It refers to who makes important decisions on the children’s behalf. Managing conservatorship can be either sole (one parent) or joint (both parents).
The Rights of the Managing Conservator(s)
Whether you become joint managing conservators or one of you is awarded the role of managing conservator, the rights and responsibilities you will face (either together or on your own) include:
The right to decide where your children's primary residence will be
The responsibility of determining and consenting to the best course of medical care (including decisions about surgeries, procedures, and treatments, dental care, eye care, or mental health care) for your children
The responsibility of directing your children’s religious education and upbringing
The responsibility of handling your children’s education (this is especially important in the age of COVID-19 when decisions about online learning and part-time school attendance are more and more prevalent)
The right to access your children’s records as they relate to education, health care, and psychological care at will
The role of managing conservator is obviously of utmost importance. Because the court bases all of its decisions related to child custody on the best interests of the children involved – and because the court generally finds that children’s best interests are served by maintaining a rich relationship with both parents – joint conservatorship is the norm. To sway the court’s decision on this matter, you would need to provide a compelling and demonstrable reason why this presumption is incorrect in your case.
In addition to legal custody (managing conservatorship), there is physical custody, which is called possessory conservatorship in Texas and can also be either joint or sole. This process can play out in several different ways, including:
Both parents become possessory conservators and split their time with the children equally.
Both parents become possessory conservators, and one parent is the primary custodial parent with whom the children live primarily while the other parent has a visitation schedule.
One parent becomes the sole possessory conservator. Even if only one parent is awarded this role, the other parent is likely to have a visitation schedule with the children, ranging from minimal visitation to a standard visitation schedule. Again, this is based on the court’s presumption that having an ongoing relationship with both parents is in the children’s best interests.
Reach Out to an Experienced Killeen Family Law Attorney Today
Conservatorship is a primary concern for all divorcing parents, and Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a dedicated family law attorney who is committed to focusing his compassion, legal acumen, and experience on obtaining child custody arrangements that work for you and your children. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.