While many parents focus on how they will share physical custody of their child, it is just as important to consider how parents will share the responsibilities of making important decisions for their child if they are separating.

When two parents divorce or otherwise decide not to live together, they must determine where their child will live and when. The focus of many child custody (known as conservatorship under Texas law) cases is physical possession of the child, though there is another highly important aspect of this determination. It is important to address the matter of how you will divide decision-making responsibilities between the two parents.

As a parent, you want to ensure that your court order regarding conservatorship reflects your rights under Texas law and allows you to properly care for your child. Speak with a Richmond TX child custody lawyer about your case today.

Making Decisions for Your Child

Parents have a responsibility to care for their children, and this does not just mean financially. Parents also have the right to make decisions regarding their child’s life in most cases. When parents live apart, they must have an agreement regarding not only physical possession of the child, but also decision-making authority. 

Generally, whichever parent is in possession of the child at a certain time should make basic, everyday decisions, such as what the child will eat or whether the child can go over to a friend’s house. However, when it comes to major decisions, parents must decide how they are going to divide this decision-making power and responsibility. This includes decisions regarding:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Religion

If two parents cannot agree to work together when it comes to major decisions, the family court will need to decide on a conservatorship arrangement. 

Joint Managing Conservators

Texas law sets out the presumption that, in most cases, parents should have joint managing conservatorship. This means that parents will share decision-making responsibilities, even if they do not share equal time living with the child. A parenting plan can specify in greater detail how the parents should work together to make these decisions.

Sole Managing Conservator 

In certain circumstances, the court might decide it is best for one parent to have full decision-making responsibilities for a child. This is often because one parent’s willingness or ability to properly care for the child is in question. Such situations might include:

  • The other parent committed family violence
  • The other parent engaged in child neglect or abuse
  • The other parent abandoned the child and their parental relationship
  • The other parent engages in alcohol or drug abuse

In these situations, a judge might determine it is best for one parent to have control over the child’s major decisions, at least for the time being. 

Learn How a Richmond TX Child Custody Lawyer Can Help

At the law office of Jaime Jordan, PLLC, we handle complex conservatorship cases, including both physical possession and decision-making powers. You want to have a Richmond TX child custody attorney on your side who can protect your parental rights, so please call (832) 463-4933 or contact us online for additional information about our family law services today.