The Benefits of Sole Custody

In the realm of family law, the term “custody” often takes center stage, frequently overshadowing the more technical term “conservatorships.” This linguistic preference reflects the familiarity and comfort people have with the term “custody” in their daily lives. For family law attorneys, discussions surrounding custody seamlessly transition into conversations about conservatorships, encompassing matters like visitation, possession, and other aspects concerning children in legal cases. Understanding the benefits of full custody becomes paramount in navigating these discussions and advocating for the best interests of the child.

The Benefits of Full Custody: Ensuring the Best Interests of the Child
The Benefits of Full Custody: Ensuring the Best Interests of the Child

One of the more common requests that we hear from people is regarding wanting sole custody. As best I can tell, sole custody means that a parent will want to spend most if not all of their time with the child, thereby allowing the other parents little to no time at all with them. While the parent may not say this, full custody or sole custody also typically means that the parent will want to have complete and final decision-making abilities for that child. In such scenarios, one parent surfaces as dissatisfied with the other and asserts their capability to make decisions in the child’s best interest.

Understanding conservatorships in custody cases

When a parent initiates a divorce or child custody case, their primary concern often revolves around securing adequate time with their child. We hear about parents who will go to great lengths to make sure that they can be the parent who has the primary responsibility of housing the child and the parent who gets more time in the other parent with that child. There is something about the scarce resource of time that parents come to understand in a divorce or child custody case. As a result, parents can get distraught when not getting all the time they want.

However, I will take this opportunity to tell you that time with your child is important after a divorce or child custody case and the ability to make decisions on behalf of that child. This is more in line with what conservatorships genuinely are. There is also a situation under the law where an adult can have conservatorship over another adult. We see this occur when a person over the age of 18 has a mental or physical impairment to the point where they cannot make decisions on their own. In that case, another adult can petition a court to become a Conservatory of that impaired adult, thereby handling their specific decision-making responsibilities.

Unlike an adult, conservatorship rights are part and parcel of being a parent to a minor child. The law presumes that a child under 18 is incapable of making decisions in their best interests. As a result, you and your Co-parent will share these rights and duties to care for, provide and make decisions for your child until they graduate from high school and reach 18. As a result, conservatorships issues are critical in a divorce or child custody case.

Custody forms in a Texas family law case

I have used the term full custody and sole custody already in today’s blog post, and I would now like to talk to you a bit about how guardianship works as far as sharing time with your child. For starters, I want you to be aware that most parents in Texas who have gone through a Texas family law case share custody along the lines of a joint managing conservatorship.

Joint managing conservatorship: Shared parental responsibilities

A joint managing conservatorship means two things. It means that you and your co-parent share rights and duties about raising your child. Both parents will jointly participate in decision-making concerning their child’s education, health, and other aspects of their life. In some areas, you may be able to decide on behalf of your child without consulting the other parent. We see this happen in emergencies. In other cases, you may be able to have the sole right to decide on their behalf. Thus it’s called having the exclusive right or duty to do something on behalf of your child.

For the most part, however, you would share rights and duties with your co-parent under a joint managing conservatorship. This would force you and your Co-parent to coordinate your parenting efforts to ensure that your child gets both of your perspectives regarding important decisions. This avoids situations where one parent can take advantage of their time with a child by making educational or medical decisions against the other parent’s desires. This is a more deliberate process that purposely forces parents to slow down making decisions for their children.

Let’s compare this process to how laws are created in our state and federal governments. Suppose that we could automatically create a new law just by thinking it up and putting pen to paper or fingers to keypad. If we were to take our new rules and post them at the courthouse, thousands, if not millions, of new laws would be created by each citizen daily. The government would not enforce these new laws that each of us would make on our own.

Navigating lawmaking and co-parenting challenges

This doesn’t seem to make much sense. So we are a representative or Republican form of a democracy where we elect representatives who can more thoroughly debate issues of importance and then pass specific laws after the debate if it sees fit. Even after this process in an executive of the state of Texas or of the United States, in other words, the governor of Texas and the president of the United States can veto specific laws in certain situations.

This illustrates that getting a new law passed is intentionally challenging. The founding fathers designed it to be a deliberate process, aiming to temper impassioned impulses and ensure thorough consideration of the merits of any proposed legislation. While some may find this prolonged process frustrating, seeking immediate governmental responses to pressing issues, I contend that it ultimately serves our best interests by constraining the proliferation of potentially ill-considered laws that could impact us as citizens in the future.

This process applies similarly when parenting a child in a co-parenting scenario. Even if you prefer to make decisions for your child independently, you will probably need to coordinate with your co-parent in the future. If disputes arise over your chosen approach, a neutral third party may be called upon to make a decisive ruling. These specifics should be addressed in your final orders, and you can work alongside your attorney to fine-tune the language, ensuring that your child’s best interests remain the primary focus.

What does sole custody mean in a split parenting situation?

When there is a divided household, having sole custody means that one parent will have a superior position to make decisions and own that child. Silicon city is certainly not the norm for a Texas family law case, but it is possible to achieve this outcome depending upon your circumstances. In general, unless the events we are about to discuss alter the situation, you should anticipate being designated as a joint managing conservator of your child following your child custody or divorce case. For the sake of being thorough, however, we can go through those scenarios right now and let you gain insight into how you may become the sole managing conservator of your child.

If one parent resides outside Texas, it may warrant sole managing conservatorship. For instance, if your spouse relocates out of state for a new job during divorce proceedings, they may be unavailable for decision-making concerning your child. While this might not pose immediate issues, future situations requiring joint decision-making may arise.

If you find yourself in a position where your spouse is difficult to reach and lacks the ability to make timely decisions for your child, you may want to request becoming the sole managing conservator of your child. This would allow you to hold more exclusive rights to make decisions on behalf of your child and would help you to be able to make decisions more readily in the best interests of your child. You do not want to be in a position where your child has an opportunity to do something in school, but you would need permission from your ex-spouse to cause that to happen.

Prioritizing child-centric mediation in conservatorship

When negotiating on subjects like this with your spouse in mediation, it is best to talk about them from your child’s perspective rather than through any advantage you might gain over them. Remember that your child stands to gain the most from any conservatorship situation, and you should put yourself in the background in any of these conversations. Your spouse is more likely to make decisions that favor your child than favor you. Do not put yourself at the forefront of any of these discussions, and I think you will be more likely to gain the most desirable outcome for your child.

When it comes to possession of your child, call it a sole managing conservatorship that allows you to be with your child more often than not. Under a standard possession order, your ex-spouse would have the right to own your child on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of each month. Under a sole managing conservatorship, this type of visitation structure may be allowable. Still, it is more likely that your ex-spouse would have restricted Visitation based on whatever circumstances justify the sole managing conservatorship in the 1st place.

For instance, your spouse may be living abroad and cannot see her child that much anyway. In other cases, your spouse’s behavior may endanger your child and, therefore, not be appropriate to have as much Visitation as even a first, 3rd, and 5th-weekend tradeoff with you. You should rely upon your attorney’s advice and learn as much about the options of Visitation under sole custody arrangements as possible. That way, you can make the best decisions for your child in this regard, as well.


While the terminology may vary, the essence of the matter remains steadfast: ensuring the well-being and best interests of the child. Family law attorneys adeptly navigate the intricacies of custody and conservatorships, recognizing the importance of clarity and understanding for their clients. Embracing the benefits of full custody entails not only legal proficiency but also a deep commitment to advocating for a stable and nurturing environment for the child. By prioritizing the child’s welfare, addressing complexities with compassion and expertise, legal professionals play a pivotal role in shaping outcomes that pave the way for a brighter future for families navigating the complexities of family law.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. I appreciate your interest in our law office. We hope that you will join us again on our blog tomorrow as we continue to post relevant and helpful information about the world of Texas family law.


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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Sole managing conservatorships: Full custody in Texas
  2. Sole Custody versus Full Custody Explained
  3. Seeking A Modification for Full Custody? Evidence Is Key
  4. Child Custody Basics in Texas
  5. Are Dads at a Disadvantage when trying to win 50/50 custody in a Texas Divorce?
  6. Sole Managing Conservator in a Child Custody Case in Texas?
  7. Help!! My Ex-Spouse Kidnapped my Child
  8. How Much Will My Texas Child Custody Case Cost?
  9. When Can a Minor Child Weigh in on Custody Decisions in Texas?
  10. Child Custody Geographic Restrictions in Texas
  11. Supervised Visitation in Texas: A Necessary Safeguard

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Custody Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child custody, it’s essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, child custody lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our child custody lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles child custody cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, 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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