Child custody cases can be emotionally charged and legally complex, especially in a vast state like Texas, it is crucial to understand the types of child custody arrangements that are available. In Texas, the family court system aims to prioritize the best interests of the child while considering various factors. The different types of child custody, legally known as conservatorship, in Texas, these are sole managing conservatorship, joint managing conservatorship, and possessory conservatorship.
Sole Managing Conservatorship
Sole managing conservatorship is what sole custody is in other states. This arrangement grants one parent the exclusive right to make significant decisions for the child, such as those related to education, medical care, etc. The non-custodial parent, referred to as the possessory conservator, typically retains visitation rights, allowing them to spend time with the child. There are multiple reasons why a judge might name a parent the sole managing conservator, these include absence in the child’s life, alcohol or drug abuse, or family abuse of the other parent.
Joint Managing Conservatorship
The more commonly awarded, and recommended conservatorship, in Texas, is joint managing conservatorship. Joint managing conservatorship involves both parents sharing decision-making responsibilities for the child. Despite the joint decision-making aspect, one parent may still have primary physical custody (known as the primary conservator), and has the right to decide where the child lives, while the other has visitation rights. To determine visitation and the amount of time the parent has with the child, a possession order will be created. Joint managing conservatorship emphasizes the importance of both parents actively participating in their child’s life.
The parent that is not named as the sole managing conservator is typically named the possessory conservator. In the case of a nonparent being named as the sole managing conservator, both parents will typically be named possessory conservators. When determining visitation schedules for the possessory conservator(s), Texas family courts often follow a Standard Possession Order. This schedule outlines when the non-custodial parent will have the child during weekdays, weekends, holidays, and special occasions. The goal is to provide a consistent and predictable routine that serves the child’s best interests while accommodating both parents’ schedules.
Contact our Fort Worth, Texas Family Law Attorney’s Today
Navigating the complexities of child custody in Texas requires a nuanced understanding of the various arrangements available. Each case is unique, and family courts in Texas aim to tailor custody arrangements to meet the specific needs and dynamics of the families involved. At the Law Firm of J. Kevin Clark, we are dedicated to assisting families reach a child custody determination that is in the best interest of the child. Whether it’s sole managing conservatorship, joint managing conservatorship, possessory conservatorship, or a specific visitation schedule, call our office 817-348-6723 or contact us for a free consultation.