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Why do Texas courts use the term "conservatorship"?

In Texas, child custody language varies slightly to the language used in many other states. When talking about child custody, Texan courts instead refer to "conservatorship". In the same light, they also name what other states would call a child's custodian as a "conservator". The word "conservatorship" is used to describe the responsibilities as well as the rights that a parent has towards a child when he or she is in a parent's custody.

What are the types of child conservatorships?

Texas courts distinguish between two main types of conservatorship. Their main differentiation is whether there will be one or two parents managing the conservatorship of the child. These are known as joint managing conservatorship (JMC) and sole managing conservatorship (SMC).

What are the rights for a parent who has conservatorship?

As a conservator, you are legally a parent, even if the child is not living with you all of the time. Therefore, you have a right to have information from the other parent in regards to the child's welfare, health, education and any official records that relate to those issues. You may also talk to educational and medical professionals about the child, and give consent to any emergency medical treatment.

How does visitation work?

Texas also has different terminology for visitation. They refer to it as possession of and access to a child. Usually a parent can get possession and access unless the opinion of the judge determines that it is not in the best interests of the child. The judge will determine an appropriate visitation schedule, if any.

Source: findlaw, "Child Custody in Texas," Dave Collins, accessed Aug. 23, 2017

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