In the state of Texas, the term “conservatorship” refers to a parent’s child custody rights. If you are in a co-parenting relationship outside of a marriage, it is important to understand the type of conservatorship you will have over your child.
Texas law outlines three types of conservatorship. Becoming familiar with each will ensure you can approach the topic of your parental and conservator’s rights from an informed standpoint.
Joint managing conservator
Most child custody matters result in a joint managing conservatorship dynamic. As a joint managing conservator, you share decision-making power over raising your child with your co-conservator. Keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean you will share 50/50 parenting time. A possession order will outline your specific rights and schedules as a joint managing conservator.
Sole managing conservator
A sole managing conservator is a parent who has the exclusive right to make decisions for their child. This dynamic is often the result of one parent being guilty of family violence, abuse or other forms of parental neglect.
Even if one parent obtains the rights of a sole managing conservator, the other parent does retain certain rights of their own. This parent is a possessory conservator who still has the ability to voice their opinion and may retain the right to see their child depending on the circumstances. However, the sole managing conservator has the final say on all parental decisions.
Understanding conservatorship in Texas is crucial in advocating for your rights as a parent. If the other party attempts to infringe on your rights as a conservator, it may be necessary to seek additional legal action.