The Law Office of Philip W. Moore, Jr. is merging with Pfister Family Law

location6160 Warren Pwky, Suite 100, Frisco, TX 75034
Call to schedule your initial Consultation


What is the Difference Between Sole Managing Conservator and Joint Managing Conservator?

Posted on in Family Law

Texas Family Law AttorneyPeople use the term “child custody” to refer to parenting arrangements when parents are divorced or unmarried. However, Texas law specifically refers to custody issues in terms of “conservatorship” and “possession and access.”

In this blog, we will discuss when a Texas parent may be deemed a “sole managing conservator” or “joint managing conservator” and how this influences each parent’s parenting responsibilities.

Sole Managing Conservatorship

Many people are familiar with the terms “joint custody” and “sole custody.” In Texas, a sole managing conservator can be compared to having sole custody of a child. If a parent is a sole managing conservator, he or she has the right to make decisions about the child's upbringing. The parent has sole responsibility for making decisions about:

  • The child's education

  • The child's medical care

  • Where the child's primary residence is

  • Other major decisions about the child's life

Texas courts generally assume that it is best for both parents to be involved in decision-making for their child, even if the parents are divorced or unmarried. However, a parent may be given sole managing conservatorship if this is what's best for the child. Often, a court grants a parent sole managing conservatorship if the other parent has a history of abuse or neglect, is incarcerated, or is uninvolved in the child's life.

When making decisions about conservatorship, Texas courts will consider the child's needs, the parents’ parenting abilities, each parent’s relationship with a child, the child's preferences, and any history of abuse or domestic violence.

Joint Managing Conservatorship

When parents are joint managing conservators of a child, they share decision-making authority. However, one parent, called the “primary parent,” may be granted the exclusive right to designate the child's primary residence. The nonprimary parent typically has the right to “possession and access” of the child, meaning the right to spend time with the child. The possession order will specifically state when each parent is responsible for supervising the child.

If parents are joint managing conservators, that does not necessarily mean that they will have exactly the same amount of time with the child. The child may spend weekdays with one parent and weekends with the other parent, alternate weeks with each parent, spend every other weekend with the nonprimary parent, or follow another possession and access schedule. All of these issues will be determined based on what is best for the child.

Contact Our Frisco Child Custody Lawyer

If you and your child's other parent disagree regarding custody or conservatorship issues, you have questions and concerns about custody, or you have another family law matter to discuss, reach out to Law Office of Philip W. Moore, Jr. for help. Frisco family law attorney Philip Woods Moore, Jr. can provide the legal assistance you need. Call 972-954-6455 for a confidential consultation.



Back to Top