What is the difference between Joint Managing Conservatorship and Sole Managing Conservatorship?

Can I be named sole managing conservator?

One of the most common goals of my clients seek in lawsuits involving custody of children is that they receive sole custody of the children.  This is a difficult question to answer because in Texas there really is no such thing as sole custody.  When my clients tell me that they are seeking sole custody I believe that what the client is really seeking  the right to establish the primary residence of the child, and the right to receive child support .

In Texas parents can be either named as joint managing conservator, sole managing conservator, possessory managing conservator.  The different types of conservator actually refer to the rights and duties that each parent has with respect to one another.  The appointment of a parent as a joint managing conservator, a sole managing conservator or a possessory conservator has little to do with the possession period or access that the who is not awarded the right to establish the primary residence will be awarded.

In Texas, there is a presumption that parents should be named as joint managing conservators.  Unless limited by the court each joint managing conservators will be awarded the following rights:

  1. The right to consent to medical, dental and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures;
  2. The right to consent to psychiatric and psychological procedures;
  3. The right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;
  4. The right to consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States;
  5. The right to make decisions concerning the child’s education;
  6. The right to the services and earnings of a child’s education;
  7. The right except when a guardian of the child’s estate or a guardian ad litem has been appointed for the child, the right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child’s estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government;
  8. The right to receive information from the other conservator of the child concerning the health education and welfare of the child;
  9. The right to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education and welfare of the child;
  10. The right of access to medical, dental , psychological, and educational records of the child;
  11. The right to consult with school officials concerning the child’s welfare and educational status, including school activities;
  12. The right to attend school activities;
  13. The right to be designated on the child’s records as a person to be contacted in the event of an emergency;
  14. The right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving a

Sole managing conservatorship is when one parent has been awarded the above reference rights exclusively.  The parent who is deprived of those rights is named as a possessory conservator.  In most case, the court recognizes that parents should be able to cooperate in making these important decisions.

A parent who wishes to be named sole managing conservator or joint managing conservator with the exclusive right to make some of the above referenced decisions must show why the limitation of the other parent’s rights is in the best interests of the child.

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