The divorce process can be stressful at the best of times. However, when children are involved in the situation, tensions can be heightened. As a parent, it can be difficult to understand both your rights and your obligations in this situation.
In Texas, what most people think of as “custody” is split into “conservatorship” and “possession and access.” Here’s more that you should know.
What is conservatorship?
Essentially, a parent with conservatorship has the ability to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. These decisions can involve anything from signing consent forms for school trips, to approving medical treatment on behalf of the child.
Being a conservator is a huge responsibility. It is important to consider who is going to be best placed to make decisions on behalf of the child in the unfortunate event that an emergency arises. While most courts prefer to give both parents joint conservatorship over their children, it’s sometimes better for only one parent to have that control.
What are possession and access?
Possession and access are related to the physical custody of the child by whichever parent has them at any given moment. Again, just like conservatorship, possession of the child can be split more-or-less evenly between co-parents or one parent may have primary physical possession while the other has regular access (visitation).
Knowing the law relating to conservatorship and possession and access could be in your best interests as you move forward with your divorce. If you are involved in a dispute as a parent, it is important to understand that you have legal rights that are designed to protect your parent-child relationship.