The courts prefer that both parents be involved in the decision-making regarding the child’s life. Thus, in custody cases, the courts may award joint managing conservatorship, as it’s known in Texas but may be also be known as joint legal custody. While in some cases, the court will also award joint possessory conservatorship (or joint physical custody), in many other cases the court will stipulate that the child lives primarily with one parent and the other will receive visitation rights.
For instance, if the mother is awarded physical custody of the child, the child will primarily live with the mother. The father will have visitation rights, and simultaneously will share legal rights to make decisions about the child. In such cases, the father does have legal custody of the child (managing conservatorship), but the child does not primarily live with him.
Whenever making decisions, the court acts in the best interests of the child, so if you have questions about how the court may rule on legal and physical custody, seek legal consultation with an attorney in Dallas.
What does legal custody involve?
Legal custody (or managing conservatorship) of the child means that the parents can make decisions about the welfare of the child.
- Medical care
- Religious upbringing
- Moral upbringing
These are decisions that the parents likely made jointly when they were married to each other, and that situation will continue even when they are divorced.
Can a person lose managing conservatorship?
In some cases, a court may decide that one parent is simply not fit to share decision-making responsibilities for the child. This might be the case if one parent is mentally incapacitated, is a frequent drug user, or has acted violently toward the child or the child’s parent. In other cases, a parent may not be granted legal custody of the child if the parent has been neglectful or if the parent is not involved in the child’s daily life.
Parents who believe the other parent should not be granted managing conservatorship can talk with an attorney about their options for removing legal custody from him or her. Further, parents whose legal custody is in jeopardy are also entitled to legal representation.
If you are going through a divorce or otherwise facing a custody battle, discuss your case with a family lawyer at Warren and Migliaccio. Call 888-584-9614 to schedule an appointment with an attorney at our firm.