How might parental responsibilities be divided in a divorce?

Parents who are planning on going through with a divorce in Texas have a number of issues with which to contend. One concern will be deciding which parent will hold primary custodial duties of the children. There are some important concepts that parents need to understand as they work out the details of child custody.

Parents are generally named as Joint Managing Conservators in custody orders. But what does this designation actually mean? Typically a JMC order will require parents to share in making decisions regarding a child's health care, education and other such issues.

However, a JMC order may grant one parent a larger portion of a child's time. Usually that parent will also have the right to decide the child's main location of residence. The parent with whom the child will primarily reside is often referred to as the managing conservator, primary conservator, or custodial parent.

As for the other parent, he or she may be referred to as the possessory conservator or non-custodial parent. This parent may also be responsible for making child support payments to the custodial parent.

There can be exceptions to the JMC arrangement just described. For instance, a court order for joint custody might not be issued if the marriage has a history of domestic violence. Also a custody order could designate several people as conservators.

This post covers only the most basic aspects of conservatorship; you may wish to read further to get a better handle on some of the details. Depending on your circumstances, working out custody agreement can become complicated. This process can also become emotionally contentious.

It is very important to get a custody agreement that is as amenable as possible to all involved parties. Doing so can help avoid serious conflicts in the future. A Texas family law attorney may be able to help represent your interests through mediation or in a court of law.

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