Texas law denotes “child custody” as conservatorship. Parents are not “custodians,” they are “conservators.” But, like most other states, the court retains ultimate authority over the terms of conservatorship over the child. This article will go over the basics of what conservatorship grants a parent and how it affects your ability to raise your child.
In Texas, like most states, the primary guiding principle is what is in the best interests of the child. This means that when you try to get conservator’s rights, the focus must be on what is best for your son or daughter, not what you may have been going through. There are many rights granted through conservatorship.
Generally, conservatorship grants you the right to access information about your child. This information can be from the other parent, teachers, counselors and doctors. The standard rules about confidentiality would not apply to you as a conservator over a child. This means you can request official medical, education and psychological records of a child. It also means you can solicit meetings with doctors, dentists and teachers regarding the welfare of the child and that those officials must answer your questions.
Finally, conservatorship gives you the right to consent to medical procedures on behalf your child. So in emergency situations, you will be able to take your son or daughter to the emergency room and consent to procedures and tests.
Conservatorship can only be granted through a formal agreement by the court, unless both parents can agree on a custody plan. Regardless, however, the written agreement must be approved by the court. Informal written agreements between you and the other parent do not create conservator or “parental” rights. The court must approve your custody and visitation plan.
If you are going through a divorce, then you may want to contact a family law attorney. Obtaining conservatorship over your child is not a given right, it must be granted through the court. An attorney can help you gain either mutual or sole conservatorship over your child.