If you believe that a
child custody case is something that is in your future it is important to understand
the basics of
family law in Texas. While hiring strong and steady representation for yourself,
such as the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, is important it does not solve every issue for you and your case.
A lot of the difficulty with any family law case comes with a lack of understanding
on the part of the client when it comes to what exactly is happening in
a case. A frustrated client is an unhappy client and no matter the result
of the case an unhappy client is just that- unhappy.
To try and minimize confusion and build up at least a basic understanding
of some important aspects of a family law case, I would like to share
some information with you all on a subject that comes up in any case where
children are involved:
What does conservatorship mean?
Conservatorship is a word that Texas, along with most other states, uses
in order to take into consideration how parents of a child will share
custody when those parents are either no longer together or were never
married in the first place. There are legal, physical, and emotional needs
that a child has and conservatorship is intended to take all of those
needs into consideration.
A more commonly heard word (and one that even attorneys use with frequency)
is “custody”. In fact, most potential clients of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
who come into our office for a consultation talk about custody of the child.
Conservatorship is not a word I’ve ever heard anyone other than those
involved in the legal field use before. However, the word “custody”
does not appear even once in the
Texas Family Code. For our purposes, when beginning your custody or
divorce case expect to hear the term conservatorship a great deal.
Titles are important when it comes to Conservatorship
When it comes to a conservatorship determination in your
Texas divorce or
child custody case, you will be given a title by the court. The most typical designation
for Texas parents is “joint managing conservators”. This means that for the most part, both parents share equally
in the rights and duties of raising the child.
The main difference is that the parent who has the child primarily will
be the primary conservator while the parent who has visitation is the
non-primary parent. The presumption for a Texas court is to name the parties
joint managing conservators. This is due to the fact that it is the public
policy of our state to allow and encourage both parents to have a strong
and active role in the rearing of their child.
When there are negative factors at work, however, such as
domestic violence or drug abuse, the designations of each parent may change. In this type
of scenario, the parent with whom the child resides primarily will be
designated as the “sole managing conservator” and the other parent will be the “possessory conservator”.
Unlike with joint managing conservators, parents under a sole managing
conservatorship will not share the rights and duties to the child in a
somewhat equitable fashion.
On the contrary, because one parent is deemed to be lacking in some fundamental
aspect of their parenting skills, the sole managing conservator will have
more rights and duties the child. Commonly the possessory conservator
will also have lesser or even restricted/supervised visitation with the
child as well.
When you think of conservatorship, think of rights and duties
We’ve already discussed the term “rights and duties”
a few times in this blog post but what exactly are the
duties that a parent is responsible for? There are basic, unalienable rights
and duties that a parent has- such as the duty to provide for the child
and to ensure the safety of the child as best as possible.
The main right of a parent that must actually be determined either by agreement
of the parties or by a judge is the right to determine where the child
is going to reside primarily. One parent must have this right as theirs
solely- it cannot be shared between the parents.
Along with the right to determine the primary residence of the child comes
the right to be paid
child support. That child support has to come from somewhere and it is the other conservator
that will be ordered to pay the support.
When you think of conservatorship, think of financial support
Child support and medical support are paid to the parent with whom the
child lives with primarily. The Family Code has a guideline for child
support based on a percentage of the obligor parent’s monthly net income.
health insurance, either the parent who pays child support will provide insurance and be
reimbursed by the other parent for out of pocket expenses, or the primary
parent will provide health insurance and the non primary parent will pay
cash medical support in an amount that will allow the primary parent to
be on level footing as far as costs are concerned
When you think of conservatorship, think of time with the child
Texas has a
Standard Possession Schedule which lays out the periods of possession that the non primary
parent has available to him or her. Depending on the time of year and
how far away the non primary parent lives from the children, the visitation
schedule can provide more or less time to be with the child than at other
points in the year.
Of course, if the parties to a divorce or child custody case are able to
come to an agreement on the issue of conservatorship then they can have
their own visitation schedule included in an order.
Questions regarding conservatorship? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today
If you have read this blog post and have any questions on the subject of
conservatorship, please do not hesitate to
Law Office of Bryan Fagan. A consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys is free
of charge and are available six days per week.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested on regarding retirement accounts
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- When Can a Minor Child Weigh in on Custody Decisions in Texas?
- Texas Child Custody Modifications
- Amicus Attorneys in Child Custody Disputes in Texas?
- Sole Managing Conservator in a Child Custody Case in Texas?
- Teens with Children, Child Custody and Child Support in Texas
- Child Custody and Divorce in Spring, TX
- Custody and Visitation Rights of Grandparents in Texas
- 11 Things You Must Know About Texas Child Custody
- 12 Texas Custody & Conservatorship Battle Tips
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Kingwood Divorce Lawyer
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 ar
Kingwood, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyer in Kingwood TX is 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,
Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and