Protecting Your Relationship With Your Children
While there is a time and a place for aggressive tactics in divorce, the best interests of your children are paramount in all child custody matters. Often, aggressive legal tactics are not called for, and can backfire in a child custody case, harming your children and your relationship with your them as well as the judge.
At The Haston Law Firm, P.C., in Houston, Texas, we take a practical, problem-solving approach to all matters involving children, especially child custody cases. Our goal is to help you obtain a just result that protects your children and your rights as a parent. We represent clients in North Houston and throughout the surrounding communities.
What Is Conservatorship?
The word “custody” doesn’t exist legally in Texas. It has been replaced with the term “conservatorship”, which means the same as custody. However, most people still use the term child custody when discussing family law or divorce issues.
There are two types of conservatorship: sole managing conservatorship and joint managing conservatorship. Absent some serious factors that would make the court want to appoint one parent as sole managing conservator, the law will require that both parents will be joint managing conservators. However, this does not mean that they will be required to split periods of possession equally with their children.
Parental Rights And Responsibilities
When you are a joint managing conservator of your child, you will have a possession schedule with a list of rights and responsibilities that will need to divided or shared jointly. Those include:
- The right to designate the primary residence
- The right to receive child support
- The right to make educational decisions
- The right to make decisions about nonemergency, invasive surgery
- The right to make psychological and psychiatric treatment decisions
One parent will usually have primary possession, while the other will have a fairly liberal child possession schedule called a “standard possession order.” the parent with the possession schedule can seek an expansion of the time allotted in the possession order.
Under a recent change in Texas law, you can have a possession order where neither parent has the right to designate the primary residence, but instead sets a geographic restriction which prevents either parent from moving the child’s residence beyond a set geographic area. Such a possession schedule is outside the bounds set out in the family code and must be created on a case-by-case basis. To be able to create an effective possession schedule, you need an experienced and creative attorney.