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Board Certified - Family Law and Criminal Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Galleria North
13727 Noel Road, Suite 200 - Tower II, Dallas, TX 75240
Telephone: (972)980-8000
E-Mail: JerryMelton@jerrymelton.com

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Jerry W. Melton, Attorney At Law
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Principal Office Dallas, Texas

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Texas Custody Information

Parent-child Relationship:

In 1974, the Texas Family Code was revised and terms such as conservatorship, managing conservator, possessory conservator, possession of and/or access to a child, and best interest of the child were introduced and began to become the subject of much discussion and of much consideration by the Texas Courts.

Best Interest of the Child:

The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and/or access to the child. 

Conservatorship and Support:

It is now important to understand certain terminology including joint managing conservatorship, managing conservatorship, and possessory conservatorship.

  • Joint Managing Conservatorship (Overview):

It is the public policy of Texas to ensure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child; to provide a safe, stable, and non violent environment for the child; and to encourage parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of raising their children after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.  Current Texas law presumes that appointment of a child’s parents as joint managing conservators is in the child’s best interest, unless there is a finding of a history of family violence involving the parents.  The parties may enter into a written agreement containing provisions for appointment of joint managing conservators under Code section 153.133. 

  • Managing Conservatorship (Overview):

In a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, the court may appoint joint managing conservators or may appoint a sole managing conservator.  If the parents are or will be separated, the court shall appoint at least one managing conservator.  A managing conservator must be a parent, a competent adult, an authorized agency, or a licensed child-placing agency.

  • Possessory Conservatorship (Overview):

If a managing conservator is appointed, the court may appoint one or more possessory conservators.  The court shall specify the possessory conservator’s rights and duties.  Unless a party shows good cause why specific orders would not be in the party’s best interest, the court shall specify and expressly state the times and conditions for possession of or access to the child. 

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