Attorney Shane Kersh addresses common family law terminology surrounding child custody issues.
The concept of child custody is complex legal territory, and it’s important to be familiar with the designations before engaging in a protracted dispute. Here are the classifications of child custody:
- Conservatorship. Conservatorship is the Texas legal terminology for custody. The holder or holders of sole or joint conservatorship possess the right to make decisions regarding the upbringing of the child, including religious practice, education, and health and medical care.
- Sole Managing Conservatorship. One parent holds all rights to make upbringing decisions for the child. Reasons a judge may order sole managing conservatorship include: the other parent being absent from the life of the child, the other parent having a drug or alcohol dependency, neglect of the child by the other parent, or abuse of the child by the other parent.
- Joint Managing Conservatorship. Both parents hold equal rights to make upbringing decisions for the child.
- Possessory Conservatorship. When one parent holds sole managing conservatorship and it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child to still have contact with the other parent, that parent is given possessory conservatorship. The possessory conservator holds parental rights and some visitation, but limited rights with regard to upbringing decisions.
- Possession and Access. Possession and access is the visitation arrangement and schedule between the parents. There are two access orders: standard and extended standard. A standard possession order is the default visitation schedule for the noncustodial parent, which is two hours’ visitation every Thursday, and the first, third, and fifth weekends every month, starting from Friday evening and terminating Sunday evening. The extended standard order may be applied when the non-custodial parent is exceptionally involved in the life and activities of the child, and requires additional time.
If you have any questions or concerns about Texas child custody and conservatorship and require legal counsel, please contact attorney Shane Kersh at Kersh Law Firm for a consultation today.