In Texas, the term conservatorship is used to explain the rights and responsibilities of parents. What most people call child custody is also known as conservatorship. This, however, does not specify the amount of time that the parent may spend with the child. It only outlines the duties and rights of parents.
There are two types of conservatorship in Texas: sole managing and joint managing conservatorship. It is assumed that joint conservatorship is always in the child’s best interest. While making decisions on child custody, the court generally favors joint conservatorship. The court will not discriminate against any parent on the grounds of marital status and sex.
The court also considers the child’s best interest and analyzes factors, such as history of violence between the parents, when issuing conservatorship orders. In the event that there is a history of violence, the parent who committed the violence will not be appointed as a sole or a joint managing conservator. The court will need evidence, such as witness records, hospital records and other information.
When issuing a child custody order, it is very rare that a parent is appointed as sole managing conservator. In the event that the court allows it, the person will have controlling rights and responsibilities in bringing up the child. The conservator will make decisions about where the child lives and that person will make decisions in the event that the child becomes ill and the type of medical treatment the child receives. The person will also make all decisions related to the child’s joining the armed forces, educational decisions and other decisions, such as where the child works.
Source: TYLA.org, “What to Expect in Texas Family Law Court,” accessed on Nov. 1, 2014