Conservatorship, also called child custody in other jurisdictions, is the term that Texas courts use to describe the rights of parents over their children. When two Houston parents go through a divorce, they must work out a plan to ensure that their kids are cared for and that their best interests are protected. Doing so can be difficult and in many cases, parents cannot establish conservatorship agreements on their own due to their differences and disagreements about what is best.
When this happens parents will go to court to present their arguments for why their conservatorship plans are most aligned with the needs and interests of their children. With the support of their attorneys, parents can offer evidence to support their positions in order to persuade the court to grant them the conservatorship rights they desire.
Texas family law courts can grant two types of conservatorship – joint managing conservatorship and sole managing conservatorship. Courts tend to presume that parents should share conservatorship in a joint managing plan unless there is a reason to grant it solely to one parent. However, a decision to award joint managing conservatorship may not indicate equality in parenting time and access to a child. Under such an arrangement one parent may have more physical time with their child due to the child’s needs and interests.
Conservatorship in Texas is more than having a child live in one’s home. It also concerns the right of a parent to be involved in decision-making about their child’s future and access to medical and educational records related to their child. A loss of conservatorship rights may impede a parent’s ability to maintain their relationship with their offspring.
There is a lot at stake when a family law court decides about conservatorship of a child. Parents can advocate for their own needs and preferences and can work with family law attorneys to help them present their cases. Independent legal counsel should be sought by readers with specific questions about Texas conservatorship.