IS A CUSTODY BATTLE
BEST FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
Beware of letting your children get involved in the case through an extended custody tug-of-
war - it will backfire on you.
Look at this time as an adventure and opportunity of trying to improve your parenting skills in
order to improve the quality of the relationship you have with your children. Your children
simply can't lose in an effort such as this.
Conservatorship is the term used in Texas to designate the division of parental rights,
privileges, powers and duties. Joint managing conservators may share all rights or may share
some rights and retain others exclusively. By law, it is now presumed that the parents should be
named joint managing conservators unless good cause is shown. Because of this presumption,
this handbook will only address joint managing conservatorship in detail.
In those extreme circumstances which warrant a sole managing/possessory
conservatorship arrangement, the sole managing conservator (the "custodial" parent) is the
person who is granted all of the rights, privileges, powers and duties of a parent. The possessory
conservator (the "noncustodial" parent) has only limited parental rights when he or she has actual
possession of the children. There may be some instances when a non-parent may be appointed
as a sole managing conservator or possessory conservator, although this rarely occurs in a
divorce case. When it does occur, one or more of the grandparents of the children may be
appointed as an additional possessory conservator. In addition, there may be more than one
possessory conservator with specific rights to possession of the children at certain times.
2. The Court Must Determine the Rights and Duties of Each Parent
In a decree or order appointing them joint managing conservators, the parent rights may
be divided however the parties agree or the court determines: they can retain all rights and
exercise them jointly, or they can apportion more to one