What Is Child Custody?
In Texas, Child custody is known as conservatorship. Conservatorship is used in Texas courts to describe a parent’s legal rights and responsibilities. As a result, a child’s custodian is called a conservator.
Commonly, conservatorship is handled by the courts. If parents can agree on an arrangement, the courts only need to approve a written agreement. However, if parents cannot agree, usually a judge will decide the terms of a conservatorship, using “the best interests of the child” as their guiding principle.
There are three types of conservatorships in Texas: joint managing conservatorship (JMC), sole managing conservatorship (SMC), and possessory conservatorship (PC).
Parents in a JMC share most parenting rights and duties equally; however, most of the time one parent will be awarded the sole right to determine the primary residence of the child, and the right to collect support for the child.
If a judge orders an SMC, only one parent is granted the legal right to make certain decisions involving the child. Specifically, only the SMC has the legal right make educational and medical decisions. In this situation, the other parent is often appointed as a PC. A PC will usually have the right to visit and the duty to pay support.
Visitation in Texas
In Texas, visitation is called possession of and access to a child. A parent is granted possession and access to the child, unless the judge determines that visitation will endanger the physical or emotional well-being of the child.
Parents of the child can either agree on an appropriate schedule or a judge will order a visitation schedule, called a standard possession order or SPO, under certain guidelines.
When it comes to your child or children, you want to ensure you work with an experienced family law attorney. If you and your child’s other parent can’t agree on a custody plan, turn to us. We have the experience you can count on and the dedication to fight for your child’s best interests and your own. Contact us today.