In Texas, legal custody is referred to as conservatorship. According to Texas law, when parents dissolve their marriage, they should typically be named joint managing conservators. This means they raise the child and make decisions concerning education and healthcare issues, among others.
So, if this is the state’s law, can a parent get sole custody?
It is uncommon, but possible
If a parent can prove to the court that their case involves family violence, child abuse/neglect or alcohol/drug abuse by the other parent, they can be named the sole managing conservator. The other parent being absent in the child’s life is another reason to get sole custody in Texas.
Does this mean the other parent lacks parental rights?
When one parent is named the sole managing conservator, the other parent is usually named the possessory conservator. They will still have parental rights but not the final say on most decisions.
The court will consider several factors to determine the rights and duties of the possessory conservator.
Is sole managing conservatorship beneficial?
If your case has a valid reason to get sole managing conservatorship, you should do so to protect your child. Other benefits you can enjoy are less conflict with the other parent since you make most of the decisions, and it can create more stability for your child.
Further, sole managing conservatorship can give you peace of mind, especially if neglect or absence of the other parent is a factor in your case. You won’t need to worry about tracking them now and then to ensure they observe the custody terms.
Can you change a custody order?
If you want to change your existing conservatorship order, you can file a modification case, and a judge can change it.
If you believe sole managing conservatorship is in your child’s best interest, seek legal help to get it.