When a child's parents divorce, decisions will need to be made regarding who will care for the child and make decisions on the child's upbringing. Under Texas law, there is the presumption that each of the child's parents should share joint managing conservatorship. This gives each parent certain rights and duties when it comes to raising the child.
A parent who has conservatorship over the child is entitled to be given information from the child's other parent regarding the child's health, schooling and well-being. In addition, they have the right to work together with the child's other parent to reach an agreement on issues regarding the child's health, schooling and well-being. A conservator has the right to obtain records about the child's health care and schooling. And, a conservator can consult with the child's health care providers and school officials.
Conservators have the right to attend programs and other types of activities that the child is a part of at school. Conservators also have the right to be designated as an emergency contact for the child. Conservators also have the right to give their consent to emergency health care procedures if the child's health or safety is being threatened. Finally, a conservator has the right to oversee the management of the child's estate.
When the child is in the conservator's care (physically), the conservator also has certain rights. They have the right to take care of, protect and discipline the child in a manner that is reasonable. They are obligated to support the physical needs of the child. The have the right to consent to non-invasive health care treatments on behalf of the child. Finally, they are able to decide what religious upbringing the child will have.
Parents who share joint managing conservatorship need to understand that they will have to work together to a certain extent when it comes to raising their child. In the end, it is important to ensure that the child's best interests are being honored, even if the parents are no longer romantically involved with one another. Texas parents with questions about child custody may want to consult with a professional, so they can better understand their rights under the law.
Source: Texas Access, "Joint Managing Conservators Rights and Responsibilities," accessed on Jan. 22, 2018