Conservatorship is the fancy term Texas family law uses to that is similar to custody. Conservatorship lays the foundation for the care of a child. The Texas Family Code looks at the best interest of the child when it comes to conservatorship issues. Joint managing conservators is the term that is most widely seen in divorce cases with children. This title indicates that both parents share the duties of raising the child or children. In practice, Texas expects both parents to actively participate in raising children. It sees a healthy relationship with both parents, even after a divorce, as best for children. So how does conservatorship work?
The Primary Conservator
Even though you may have joint conservatorship, one parent will be given the title of primary conservator. The other parent will have visitation privileges and be referred to as the non-primary parent. The primary conservator is the parent the child lives with the majority of the time. This is also considered the child’s primary residence in legal sense. Other rights that can be allocated to the primary conservator is the right to make decisions about the child’s education, medical treatments and mental health decisions. The non-primary parent will retain the right to be notified of those decisions. Typically, the court will also decide which parent will pay child support and the amount paid.
What is a sole-managing conservator?
In situations where negative factors may affect the child, the court can name a parent as sole-managing conservator. The other parent will have the title possesory conservator. Here the sole-managing conservator will have greater influence on decisions for the child as the responsible parent. The possesory conservator will have limited or supervised visitations with the child and very limited input on decisions regarding the child.