WHAT DOES PRIMARY CUSTODY MEAN?
Duties and Rights of a Conservator:
Child custody is legally known as a conservatorship in Texas. There are three types of conservators: joint managing conservator, sole managing conservator, and possessory conservator. Courts presume that both parents will be joint managing conservators, meaning both parents share decision making for the child; however, the time spent between each parent may not be equal.
Parents appointed as a conservator have the rights to:
- Access to the child’s medical, dental, psychological, and educational records
- Receive information from another conservator concerning the child’s health, education, and welfare
- Talk with the other parent to the extent possible before making decisions about the child’s health, education, and welfare
- Consult with the child’s doctor, dentist, or psychologist
- Consult with school officials about the child’s welfare and educational status
- Be the child’s designated emergency contact on records
- Attend school activities
- Consent to the child’s medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency
- Manage the child’s estate
If it is in the best interest of the child, a judge may name one parent as the sole managing conservator. They will have the exclusive right to make most decisions regarding the child including the child’s primary residence, consent to any medical or psychiatric treatments, represent the child in legal action, consent to marriage or enlistment in the military, decisions about the child’s education, services and earnings of the child, and manage the child’s estate. Additionally, they will receive child support from the other parent.
If there is a sole managing conservator, a court will name the other parent as the possessory conservator. They will still have rights as a parent, but they will be limited.