In a divorce or child custody action in Texas, it is presumed that both parents will be named Joint Managing Conservators of their children. Being named Joint Managing Conservators means that both parents will share the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. These rights and responsibilities include:
- Providing for the child’s physical needs
- Making decisions and being involved in the child’s education, medical care, and religious upbringing
- Teaching the child about his ethnic and cultural background, including morals and values
- Providing disciple and guidance for the child
Being named Joint Managing Conservators does not mean that the child will spend equal time with both parents. Often, one parent is named the Primary Managing Conservator. He or she will live with the child most of the time and will get to establish where the child’s primary residence will be. There may be geographical restrictions placed on the primary conservator to assure that they do not move the child too far away from the other parent.
Sole Managing Conservatorship
In some cases, the court may name one parent, the Sole Managing Conservator. This parent will enjoy more or all of the rights and responsibilities of parenting the child. The other parent will usually be named the Possessory Conservator and will have visitation with the child.
This arrangement is not used often in Texas. In Texas, courts presume that a Joint Managing Conservatorship is best for the child, allowing both parents to be equally involved in the child’s life.
Joint Managing Conservatorship – Making it Work.
Many couples have anxiety or doubt regarding whether they can effectively co-parent following a divorce. You can take some important steps to ensure that you maintain a healthy relationship going into the future.
First, try to work out a custody arrangement outside of court, if you can. Mediation services might be available, or even ordered by the court, to assist you. Most couples do not realize that they can negotiate a custody agreement on their own, and courts will almost always adapt their agreement. An in-court custody battle can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally damaging, especially for children. Our experienced child custody lawyers can assist you in working out an agreement that’s right for you, turning to the courts only when necessary.
After the custody order has been entered, there are other steps you can take to maintain a civil relationship with your co-parent. These steps include:
- Put the child first. Remember that your child deserves both parents in their life.
- Abide by all court orders.
- Be flexible and willing to compromise. Don’t do things to “punish” or “get back at” the other parent or to make their life more difficult.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Try to establish how you will deal with sticky parenting situations before they occur to present a united front.
- Be civil when speaking to and about the other parent, their spouse, and family.
- Take parenting classes. Usually, the court will order them. Pay attention and be open to what you are being taught.
- Most importantly, remain friends with your co-parent. Regardless of what went on during your marriage or what led up to the separation, you must realize that you will still be raising a child together for years to come. Put your differences aside and your children’s well-being first. While the relationship will be much different following a divorce, a close friendship between co-parents will ensure a healthy transition and far less stress for everyone involved.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “Child Custody E-Book”
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- Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?
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- Are Dads at a Disadvantage when trying to win 50/50 custody in a Texas Divorce?
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- When Can a Minor Child Weigh in on Custody Decisions in Texas?”
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- What does joint custody mean?