When you are a parent and have a pending Texas divorce or child custody case, you will naturally have great concerns about your children. The Burgfechtel Law Offices understands that nothing is more precious than children, and the rights for parents to have access to and spend time with their children.
When determining the appropriate conservatorship of the child, the court will use the “best interests of the child” standard. Texas law takes into account the health and safety of the child, as well as a child’s physical, mental and emotional needs. A parent’s ability to be able to provide for their child financially is also considered, although financial matters can also be dealt with through a child support order.
There are different custody arrangements that Texas child custody statutes allow. A person with court ordered custody of a child is called a “conservator.” There are three types of conservators:
- Joint Managing Conservator
- Sole Managing Conservator
- Possessory Conservator
Joint Managing Conservator
Except in cases involving a history of family violence, abuse or neglect, appointing both parents as Joint Managing Conservators is presumed to be in the child’s best interest. This means that each of the parents have all of the legal rights of a parent when it comes to making major life decisions for the child and obtaining information (school, medical, etc) about the child. Even so, in most joint conservatorship orders the parent with whom the child primarily resides with will have the exclusive right to decide where the child’s residence (usually within a certain geographic area). This parent is called the “custodial parent” and the other parent is called the “non-custodial parent.”
Sole Managing Conservator
Under certain circumstances in child custody cases, the courts may name a Sole Managing Conservator. The Sole Managing Conservator may be a parent of the child or could also be a non-parent. A Sole Managing Conservator has the exclusive right to make most decisions regarding the child. Sole Managing Conservators may be named due to either parent having a history of child neglect, family violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or possibly one of the parents being absent during the life of the child.
A Possessory Conservator has the right to possession and access of their child, but does not have the final say on most decisions for the child. When the court names one parent as the Sole Managing Conservator, the other parent is usually named the Possessory Conservator of the child. When the court names a non-parent as the Sole Managing Conservator, normally the child’s parents will each be named as Possessory Conservators.
At the Burgfechtel Law Offices we understand that child custody issues can become very stressful and emotionally draining. If you have children and are facing a divorce, or are dealing with any other suit affecting your relationship with your child, contact the Burgfechtel Law Offices as soon as possible for the help you need to protect your children and your rights as a parent.