WHAT DOES THE COURT MEAN BY ‘SOLE CUSTODY’

In Texas, “child custody” is legally referred to as “conservatorship.” Furthermore, there are 2 types of conservators:

Managing Conservator

Parents can either be sole or joint managing conservators of a child. The sole managing conservator is granted exclusive rights to decide for their child. Additionally, the parent will obtain the right to:

  • choose where the child will live;
  • make appointments for medical, dental, and/or surgical procedures;
  • consent to any psychiatric or psychological treatments for the child;
  • give and receive payments for support of the child;
  • represent the child during legal proceedings;
  • consent to the child marrying or enlisting in the armed forces;
  • make decisions regarding education; and/or
  • act as an agent of the child in regards to their estate.

Possessory Conservator

Possessory conservatorship refers to who has physical custody of a child, whether that be full-time or through visitation. A court will usually implement a possession plan after the decision to grant either sole or joint conservatorship.

The law favors the idea that both parents share time as equally as possible. If there is no evidence of gross parental misconduct (neglect, abuse, etc.), the court will usually grant joint possessory conservatorship. It’s possible for one parent to obtain sole managing conservatorship while sharing possessory custody with the other parent.

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