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Sole Managing Conservator in a Child Custody Case in Texas?

In a divorce or child custody dispute in Texas, the parents are usually named Joint Managing Conservators. This means that the rights and duties of parenthood are shared between the parents. However, in some cases the court might decide to name one parent Sole Managing Conservator.

When a parent is named Sole Managing Conservator, that parent will have the right to make all or most of the decisions regarding the child, and can exclude the other parent from the decision making process. TheSole Managing Conservator’s decision making power might include:

  • Decisions about medical care
  • Decisions about education
  • Allowing the child to marry before the age of 18
  • Deciding where the child will live

The other parent will be named the Possessory Conservator. That parent will usually get visitation with the child, and will have certain duties when the child is in their possession, such as the duty to provide for the child’s physical needs.

Why the Court Might Choose a Sole Managing Conservator over Joint Managing Conservatorship

In Texas, there is a rebuttable presumption that appointing both parents Joint Managing Conservators is in the child’s best interest. Why then might the court choose to appoint one parent the Sole Managing Conservator?

The court’s first consideration is the best interest of the child. Some factors the court might consider when deciding what is in the child’s best interest include:

  • The child’s desires
  • The emotional and physical needs of the child, now and in the future
  • Danger to the child, now and in the future
  • The parental abilities of both parents
  • Stability of the home environment
  • The plans each parent has for the child
  • Whether there is evidence of domestic violence
  • Whether either parent has filed a false report of child abuse

The court may not favor either parent on account of gender or marital status.

Split Custody Arrangements

When there are two or more children involved, some families see a split custody arrangement as a possible solution. In a split custody arrangement, one parent will be named the Sole Managing Conservator of one child, and the other parent will be named the Sole Managing Conservator of the other child. This arrangement is not favored by Texas courts.

In Texas, courts prefer to keep siblings together, to be raised as a family. Courts will not usually approve a split custody arrangement unless there is a clear and compelling reason to do so. Of course, the biggest concern is what is in the best interest of the child. So while split custody is not prohibited outright, it is very rare, and only used where there are very good reasons for doing so.

Of course, split custody is more common when the children are not all from the same relationship or marriage, but some of the children are from a previous relationship. In those situations, there is no requirement that there be a clear and compelling reason to split custody.

Out of Court Options

Most parents do not realize that they can agree on a custody arrangement, and that the court will usually adopt their agreement. It is usually preferable to agree to a custody arrangement outside of court, as in-court custody battles can be emotionally draining. Our family law attorneys are available to help you design a custody arrangement that is right for you family. In those situations where an agreement cannot be reached, our attorneys are prepared to protect your rights in court.

Families should consider both Sole and Joint Managing Conservatorships when deciding which type of arrangement will be right for them. In most cases, a Joint Managing Conservatorship is best for the children involved, but not always. Courts and parents should be most concerned with what is best for the child, and in some cases, that may be appointing one parent Sole Managing Conservator.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Can I get child support while my Texas divorce is pending?
  2. Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?
  3. Can I Sue My Ex for Retroactive or Back Child Support in Texas?
  4. Child Support and College Tuition in Texas
  5. Texas Child Support Appeals
  6. In Texas are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
  7. Why Ignoring Child Support Obligations is a Bad Idea in Texas
  8. Can I get child support and custody of my kids in Texas if we were never married?
  9. Child Custody Basics in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Our blog features a wealth of knowledge pertaining to some of the most frequently asked family law questions.

    Read More
  • Sign Up For Our Free E-Course

    Click here to sign up for our free E-Course on Divorce! It has been specifically created to help people who are considering divorce and wish to learn more about the divorce process

    Sign Up Now
  • Schedule Your Free Consultation Now

    Schedule a risk-free consultation today and we can assess your case.

    Book Now
  • Meet With a Finance Specialist

    Discuss payment plan options and more with a finance specialist.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan
Spring Divorce Attorney
Located at: 17101 Kuykendahl Rd,
Houston, TX 77068
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Phone: (281) 810-9760
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.