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Start with the basics of Texas child custody law

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2016 | Child Custody

Child custody issues are probably the ones that generate the greatest amount of friction and require the greatest amount of delicacy in the area of family law. Texas parents are generally the same when it comes to their children. They all have a desire to see that the best interests of the children are met.

What constitutes a child’s best interests may not always be in sync with the vision of either of the parents. Whatever solution is proposed, it also must meet the court’s standard of the child’s best interests, and that can vary from county to county and judge to judge. Seeking an attorney’s help is the way to be sure details are covered and are represented.

Texas stands apart from many other states in how the law talks about custody matters. What is known as custody and visitation in most states is referred to as conservatorship and possession in Texas.

With those terms in mind, it is worth noting that there are two basic types of conservatorship under Texas law. The first is called a joint managing conservatorship. This is what might be called the default setting. The presumption under this model is that both parents share their duties and have personal rights. This does not necessarily mean equal responsibilities across all fronts will be shared, or that each parent will even have equal possession time or access to the child. The court has ultimate power to decide which parent will be responsible for what.

The second type of conservatorship is called sole managing conservatorship. The parent granted SMC typically has the right to make decisions that deal with the child’s day-to-day welfare: Where the primary residence will be; what school will be attended; medical decisions; and who can serve as the child’s emergency contact.

These are only a few of the complicated elements that can affect child custody and support in Texas.


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