When individuals in Texas become parents, they had certain ideas of what it would look like and entail. While life is often not what one expects or plans for, many parents do not imagine doing it alone or separately from the other parent. Unfortunately, some relationships do not last and marriages end. This requires parents to come up with a plan to address the needs of the children involved, detailing the time spent with each parent and the legal decision making each parent can make for the child.
While most states refer to this as child custody, the state of Texas refers to it as child conservatorship. There are two types of conservatorship in Texas. This first is joint managing conservatorship and the other is sole managing conservatorship. Much like in other states, sole custody or sole conservatorship is more on the rare side; however, it is still an option as it may be necessary to meet the best interests of the child.
The rights involved in joint conservatorship
This generally includes the right to obtain information from the other parent regarding the child’s health, education and welfare, having access to medical, dental, psychological and educational records, the ability to talk to a physician, dentist or psychologist about the child, being able to talk to school official about concerns regarding the child and providing consent to medical, dental and surgical treatment in the case of emergency. In a joint managing conservatorship, both parents are likely given these rights equally. Additionally, they also likely have the same possession and access to the child; however, this is not necessary the case.
Sole managing conservatorship
In a sole managing conservatorship, this means that only one parent has the legal right to make certain decisions regarding the child. It also provides them certain rights, such as deciding the primary residence of the child, consenting to medical treatment, consenting to psychological treatment, being designated on the child’s record as a person to be contacted in the event of an emergency, the right to attend school activities, receiving child support and making decisions regarding the child’s education.
Family law matters can evolve into a complex matter. When a custody battle ensues, emotions are often running high. It can be difficult to remain focused on just the child because other factors do play a major role. Thus, it is important to understand what one’s rights are when it comes to child custody options and how best to ensure the best interests of the child are met.