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Child Custody

Does the child always live with whomever has custody?

The answer to this depends on who has conservatorship. In Texas, child “custody” does not refer to which parent has the child living in their home. In fact, child “custody” refers to conservatorship, which is the rights and duties of the parents (i.e. to make decisions regarding educational decisions, medical decisions, psychiatric decisions, etc.).

Conservatorship can be divided in two ways: (1) allowing on parents to make all the decisions—sole managing conservatorship, and (2) allowing both parents to jointly make decisions—joint managing conservatorship. In determining the rights and duties of the parents, the court will decides what is in the “best interest” of the child.

child custody

When it comes to child custody, where will the child live?

The child will live with the parent who has the “exclusive right to designate the child’s residence.” The person with the exclusive right to designate the child’s residence will be considered the primary managing conservator and the other party will the possessory conservator. The possessory conservator will be the parent with possession and access to the child (i.e. visitation).

As a joint managing conservator of a child, unless special circumstances arise justifying a variance from the Guidelines, the Court will normally order guideline code rights and duties. See Example of Conservatorship Rights and Duties here.