Attorney Eric Jensen
On Child Custody and Conservatorship

Child Custody & Visitation Dispute
Child custody and support are often the most disputed areas in divorce negotiations as they affect both emotions and money. Unfortunately, children are used as a bargaining chip. Parents' responsibility to manage their children's growth and development continues even though the marriage ends.
 
Conservatorship--Best Interests of the Children
In Texas child custody and support are often the most disputed areas in divorce negotiations as they affect both emotions and money. Unfortunately, children are used as a bargaining chip. Parents' responsibility to manage their children's growth and development continues even though the marriage ends.

Both parents should help their children understand that although Mother and Father no longer love each other as husband and wife, they do love each other as parents. It is essential that both parents successfully convey love to their children. As husband and wife, ways of working together may be beyond reach.

However, as parents, there are may ways and resources (like Kids First program required in Smith County courts) available in Texas child custody disputes to parents who will seek them. The most important purpose of any method chosen by parents is to convey to their children that both parents care about their children's personal safety and about making their love known to the children.

In Texas child custody matters, the Court determines custody based on what it believes to be the best interests of the children. This aspect can be the most complicated and controversial component of a divorce in Texas. Sometimes children become a bartering tool and their well being gets lost in the game of tug-of-war.

Child custody matters in Texas affect children under the age of 18. When the parents disagree about issues of child custody, the Texas Court will often appoint a social worker or psychologist who will make an investigation and issue a recommendation regarding child custody and an appropriate visitation schedule.

Sole Conservatorship in Texas child custody disputes: If the parents are not awarded joint custody, one parent will have sole custody of the children. Sole custody means that a parent has the authority to make legal decisions for the children. The non-custodial parent is awarded specific visitation with the children.

Joint Managing Conservatorship in Texas child custody disputes: In joint custody, both parents have legal custody with one parent designated as the primary residential care giver parent. Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to make major decisions for their children. These decisions include residence of the child, medical and dental treatment, education, child care, religious education, extra-curricular activities, summer camp and recreation.

If the children are very young, experienced attorneys can suggest various conservatorship arrangements for the children, like 3 days with mom, 3 days with dad, or 2 weeks, 2 weeks. What works best in your case is to be determined.

The Texas Courts will not award joint or shared custody unless the parents can demonstrate a level of maturity, willingness and ability to set aside their personal differences in order to decide what is in the best interest of their children. It is possible that both parents have acted like bums and the State can intervene and request the court to order the children to a foster parent. Counseling is always an option with the court.
 
Parentss
Both parents should help their children understand that although Mother and Father no longer love each other as husband and wife, they do love each other as parents. It is essential that both parents successfully convey love to their children. As husband and wife, ways of working together may be beyond reach.  Courts will issue orders for parents to abide by or suffer a contempt of court order to appear to answer charges of disobedience.
 
What Workss
However, as parents, there are may ways available to parents who will seek them. The most important purpose of any method chosen by parents is to convey to their children that both parents care about their children's personal safety and about making their love know to the children.
 
Who Decides
The Court determines custody based on what it believes to be the best interests of the children. This aspect can be the most complicated and controversial component of a divorce. Sometimes children become a bartering tool and their well being gets lost in the game of tug-of-war.

Custody matters affect children under the age of 18. When the parents disagree about issues of custody, the Court will often appoint a law guardian who will make an investigation and issue a recommendation regarding custody and an appropriate visitation schedule.
 
Sole & Joint Custody
Sole Custody: If the parents are not awarded joint custody, one parent will have sole custody of the children. Sole custody means that a parent has the authority to make legal decisions for the children. The non-custodial parent is awarded specific visitation with the children.

Joint Custody: In joint custody, both parents have legal custody with one parent designated as the primary residential parent. Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to make major decisions for their children. These decisions include residence of the child, medical and dental treatment, education, child care, religious education, extra-curricular activities, summer camp and recreation.
 
Shared Custody
Shared Custody: In shared custody, both parents share legal custody with each parent having specific periods of responsibility with the children. This arrangement gives both parents the right to make major decisions on an equal basis for their children.

Courts will not award joint or shared custody unless the parents can demonstrate a level of maturity, willingness and ability to set aside their personal differences in order to decide what is in the best interest of their children.