When parents of a child separate – whether they were married or not – they often have disputes about their rights and duties concerning their child. When these disputes come up, then one or both parents will need to seek the intervention of the courts.
The child’s best interest should be the primary concern of everyone involved in a custody arrangement– the judge, the attorneys (who are officers of the court), and the parents. However, the parents’ ego needs often work against the child’s best interest by putting the child in the middle.
Parents in the throes of separation and/or divorce can often be unaware of how their disputes negatively impact their child; this lack of awareness can also negatively impact decisions and negotiations around custody arrangements.
Shannon Law makes a point of helping our clients navigate both the relationship and legal issues in a custody dispute, always with a focus on the child’s best interest.
In Texas, child custody is legally termed conservatorship. There are three types of child conservatorships:
- Sole managing conservatorship gives all the rights for caring for and making decisions about a child’s welfare, medical, educational and religious needs to the parent with whom the child lives.
- Sole possessory conservatorship applies to the parent the child does not live with. The sole possessory conservator’s rights apply only to visitation or temporary custody and generally don’t extend to areas such as the child’s medical, educational and religious needs. The parent with these rights does have responsibility and accountability for the child’s welfare when he or she is with them.
- Joint managing conservatorship is similar to joint custody in other states with some differences. The parents do share rights regarding a child’s welfare, educational, medical and religious needs, but not necessarily equally. The actual nature of a joint managing conservatorship arrangement will either be decided by the court or by agreement of the two parties.
Contact us for more details about the laws and rights pertaining to custody, and to discuss representation by Shannon Family Law.