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Child custody law in Texas

The family law in Texas recognizes the term "child custody" as "conservatorship," and the "custodian" as the "conservator." Unless the parents can agree on shared responsibilities, the court will identify the terms of the conservatorship under all legal rights of both spouses. The ultimate goal is the welfare of a child.

At this time, the conservatorship is categorized into sole and joint managing conservatorship. Sole managing conservatorship allows only one parent to make certain decisions such as primary residence, education and medical care including psychological and psychiatric treatments. In addition, one parent is typically designated as the primary contact in cases of any emergency. Joint managing conservatorship pertains to both parents sharing their rights and responsibilities as caretakers. In some cases, one of the parent's still may be awarded separate set of duties based on the best interest of the child.

The visitation rights are determined by the judge and may not be always shared equally. The court will create a visitation schedule called a standard possession order. If both parents can agree on the visitation schedule, the court's intervention is not necessary. A written agreement will have to be reviewed and approved by the judge.

In general, a conservatorship includes particular rights and may consist of being able to consent to medical and dental therapies, having an access to the child's records and being able make decisions about education and school activities.

Child custody battles are often emotional and complicated. Becoming familiar with the rights, rules and regulations may relieve the burden of dealing with the legal process. An attorney may be helpful to explain the course of action to be taken to ensure the child's welfare. All documentation and evidence should be fully inspected and taken into consideration when awarding conservatorship in the court of law.

Source: Findlaw, "Child Custody in Texas", September 02, 2014

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