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Is Child Custody the Same Thing as a Conservatorship in Texas?

— April 28, 2022

Divorcing parties may request a detailed explanation of their time sharing options and a child custody lawyer can explain Texas laws relevant to each case.

Customarily, child custody disputes can be unhealthy if timesharing is not worked out in an amicable fashion.  Calm and quick resolution with the assistance of a Texas conservatorship attorney may be the balancing force in the future relationship with children for each parent regarding their:

  • living space(s), 
  • changes in routine, 
  • feelings of anxiety, and 
  • community stability.

Texas conservatorship

Under Texas law, a conservatorship is the term utilized to describe custody. Legal custody is referred to as “managing conservatorship” and physical custody is referred to as “possessory conservatorship.”  Under these two types of conservatorships, the managing conservatorship refers to decision-making powers of parents on behalf of their child related to healthcare, education and community, and possessory conservatorship refers to the parent with whom the child resides.  Under Texas state law, it is preferred if both parents share joint managing conservatorship allowing both to make decisions for the child.  Sole custody is always a possibility if it is in the child’s best interests.  Divorcing couples should speak to a child custody attorney in Texas regarding a possession and access schedule that they jointly create, so that a “standard possession order” is not utilized giving them a basic schedule to follow.  

Divorcing parties may request a detailed explanation of their time sharing options and a child custody lawyer can explain Texas laws relevant to each case, as they pertain to both parents’ legal responsibility to the children. Battles involving child custody are best addressed with an objective voice that an experienced attorney can provide to avoid negative family impacts and important decisions regarding physical custody of children, timesharing, visitation, household stability and when, or if parents can move out of state.  

Parental plan

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It is best for divorcing parties, or unmarried couples to take preemptive measures and try to create a comprehensive time-sharing agreement, agreed upon by both parents in advance, to present to legal representation and file it with the court.  A child custody attorney can file a formal order to request changes for custody when necessary, and advise clients on custody factors that a judge will consider to include:

  1. Willingness of a parent to encourage a good relationship between a child and the other parent,
  2. Willingness to honor the time-sharing schedule,
  3. Putting their own needs after the child’s needs,
  4. Home environment provides stability for the child,
  5. Physical, emotional, and mental health of each parent,
  6. Past child abuse, domestic violence, or child endangerment,
  7. The desire of the child, if the child is old enough to decide,
  8. Willingness and ability to participate in a child’s education and other activities.

Hire legal counsel

It may be prudent to seek legal counsel in Texas who can provide guidance while parents plan to provide a foundation in their children’s lives, and the children are given enough time to know both parents, independent of the other.   


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