Child custody in Texas is referred to as conservatorship, and there are different ways for conservatorship to be assigned when parents separate or divorce. One possible assignment scheme is sole managing conservatorship, in which one of a child’s parents is tasked with most or all of their care. This post does not provide any legal guidance but discusses the circumstances under which sole managing conservatorship may be ordered.
Sole vs. joint conservatorship
Conservatorship can be shared or given exclusively to one parent. When it is shared, a child’s parents may each have the right to have their child live with them and may have the right to make decisions about their care. The breakdown of duties and rights in each conservatorship case will be based on the best interests of the child.
However, in some circumstances a court may go against its standard presumption to grant both of a child’s parents conservatorship rights. If a parent does not have the capability to care for their child, or may pose a threat to their child, their conservatorship rights may be curtailed.
When sole managing conservatorship is necessary
In most cases, courts will seek to protect the children’s best interests by continuing their contact and relationships with both of their parents. However, certain conditions may cause courts to deviate from this presumption and grant sole managing conservatorship to only one of them. Those conditions may include:
- Histories of violence or abuse by the non-conservator parent
- Histories of drug or alcohol abuse by the non-conservator parent
- Histories of difference on child-rearing between the child’s parents
- Absence or abandonment of a child by the non-conservator parent
Understanding how a court will decide a conservatorship matter can be difficult on a parent and stressful on a family. The help of a dedicated family law attorney can make a difference for individuals who are concerned about their parental rights and options for conservatorship.