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What does sole managing conservatorship mean in Texas?

You didn’t expect your divorce to go smoothly – and it hasn’t. In particular, you and your spouse have been deeply divided over all the issues involving the children.

Now, your spouse has agreed that you should share possession of and access to the children more or less equally. However, your spouse wants sole managing conservatorship. Is this something you should even consider?

This usually isn’t a good deal to take

As much as it sounds like your spouse is starting to be reasonable, you need to be very hesitant about accepting this kind of deal just to avoid ongoing conflict.

In Texas, “conservatorship” is the term used to describe a parent’s legal right to make certain decisions for their children. Conservatorship can be granted solely to one parent or jointly to both.

Sole managing conservatorship over your children gives your spouse the right to do things like:

  •     Consent to or deny medical care for your child
  •     Consent to or deny your child psychiatric care
  •     Consent to or deny your child vaccinations
  •     Decide where and how your child receives their education
  •     Be the sole contact for schools, daycares or other child care providers when there’s an emergency situation
  •     Decide how (or if) your child will receive any religious instruction
  •     Be the sole parent who is informed of the child’s extracurriculars, including school activities
  •     Be the only parent with access to your child’s medical or school records

In other words, this is a very big deal. Your spouse may simply see the idea of joint managing conservatorship as troublesome and inconvenient (especially if you both need to be consulted before your child signs up for band camp), but the reality is that you could be excluded from a number of major life decisions that are important to your child’s development.

Is giving up joint managing conservatorship ever a good idea? Maybe, if you know that you won’t be around a lot because you travel extensively to far-flung places. Even then, however, there may be other solutions to any potential problems that aren’t as drastic.

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