Child Custody Terms
The State of Texas no longer officially refers to child custody as child custody but, instead, uses the term conservatorship, and there are two types of conservatorship, which include both the managing conservator and the possessory conservator. The managing conservator is the parent who has the right and responsibility to make important decisions on behalf of the children. The presumption in Texas, however, is that both parents will share joint managing conservatorship and will, therefore, make these important decisions together (except under extreme circumstances that preclude this option). The decisions include:
- How your children will be educated
- The kind of religious education your children will receive
- The kind of non-emergency health care your children will receive
- Which extracurricular activities your children can participate in
Possessory conservatorship, on the other hand, refers to when your children are with you and when they are with their other parent. Usually, one parent is named as the primary conservator, and this parent has primary custody of the children. This means that the children will live primarily with him or her and that the other parent will have a visitation schedule.
While the words themselves can be a bit confusing, the basics remain the same. Except under extreme circumstances, both parents generally share what we think of as legal custody (decision making power) and one parent generally has primary physical custody while the other has a visitation schedule.