What’s Texas Child Custody Like
Texas child custody uses different terms for what most people think of a joint child custody or sole child custody. Family Law Attorney Vonda Covington explains the terms used in Texas for those concepts.
Summary of Texas Child Custody Video
Hi I’m Vonda Covington. I’m a family law attorney in Richmond, Texas. And I wanted to talk a little bit about what is Texas child custody?
Sole Managing Conservatorship versus Joint Managing Conservatorship
People come to me and say, well I want custody of my child. And in Texas what we have is something called conservatorship. There are two kinds of conservatorship. There’s sole managing conservatorship and there’s joint managing conservatorship. And it’s easy to understand joint if you understand sole managing conservatorship.
Sole managing conservatorship is the old fashioned kind of child custody where mom gets the kids, dad pays child support and has visitation with the kids. However, mom has all the decision making powers over the kids.
With joint managing conservatorship, the parents split up the powers and duties for making decisions over the kids, about the kids’ lives. And that’s basically the difference.
Right to Designate the Child’s Primary Residence
One of the powers and duties that a parent gets in joint managing conservatorship is the right to designate the child’s primary residence. If a court order determines which parent has that right, then it’s going to be an exclusive right to one parent or the other.
That is what we call, what the lay person calls custody. But what the divorce attorneys and family law attorneys oddly call the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence. Custody is a lot easier to say.
But that’s really not custody in the traditional sense of the word. Parents can decide together on parenting times that are pretty close to 50/50 split. Some courts will approve those kinds of parenting times and some courts won’t approve those kinds of parenting times. And then we have other things that we have to do in order to get the court’s approval for that.
If you hire a family law attorney who is familiar with the courts, familiar with which judges like what, and familiar with the law, then that attorney can help you through these confusing terms and confusing issues.
Summary of Texas Child Custody
So, that’s basically what child custody is in Texas. It’s joint managing conservatorship. One parent typically has the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence, and then the other rights and duties about decision making gets split up between the two parents.
That way both parents are very closely involved in the child’s life, and that’s really what a child needs. So that’s why Texas law has been structured that way.
Contact Covington & Zand
Vonda Covington and Jamie Zand are very familiar with the courts and the judges in Fort Bend County. Based on the facts of your situation, they can help you understand the likely outcome if a judge decides your child custody issues. They can also help you evaluate other options you may have to reach agreement with your spouse on child custody. Call us at 281-762-0578 or send us an email using our contact form.
You may be interested in Vonda’s video talking about explaining divorce to your children.