What is Joint Custody?
In Texas, we don’t use the term “custody” to describe the time parents spend with their children. We use “possession and access” to describe what most people think of when they use the word custody. When people use the term joint custody they typically are speaking of a 50/50 possession and access schedule. The long and short of that blog post is that there is no 50/50 possession and access schedule listed in the Texas Family Code and that there are multiple “equal” possession schedules that courts use.
What is a Joint Managing Conservator?
Joint conservator describes a legal relationship a person has with a child. It is not the same thing as a possession and access schedule. The presumption in Texas is that biological parents should be named joint managing conservators of their children regardless of what their possession and access schedule is going to look like. Having equal periods of physical possession of and access to the child is not the same as being a joint managing conservator. Most people in Texas are named joint managing conservators of their children while the majority of possession schedules are not completely equal.
Joint Managing Conservatorship does not mean that the parties are going to have completely equal rights and duties when it comes to the child either. The court has discretion when naming parents joint managing conservators to limit rights and duties. Joint Managing Conservator is just a title given to a party.