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An overview of conservatorship in Texas -- Part IV

For some child custody cases, Texas courts find it necessary to award custody of the minor child to only one of the biological parents to serve the best interests of the minor child. Awarding sole managing conservatorship -- or custody -- however, is usually a rare case and brought about because attorneys provided enough evidence of various mitigating factors to make it necessary for the court to give custody to only one of the parents. The court ultimately determined the child might be in danger if a joint child custody arrangement was awarded.

Some reasons for the court to award sole managing conservatorship can include --

  • The non-custodial parent's previous history of domestic violence or negligence
  • The non-custodial parent's history of drug or substance abuse, alcoholism or involvement in criminal acts
  • The non-custodial parent's abandonment of the minor child and the custodial parent for a period of time with no reasonable explanation
  • Disagreement by parents about any important decisions regarding the child's medical, educational or religious development and values

The non-custodial parent may not be completely alienated from the child, however. The parent may be given the right to visitation in accordance with the court's arrangement that was agreed to by both parents. Visitation rights are termed as possession of and access to the minor child.

In most cases where sole managing conservatorship is awarded, the non-custodial parent would have visitation rights on specific days or visitation may be supervised, depending on the merits of the case.

However, in some extreme cases, such as allegations and evidence of child abuse and domestic violence, the court might find it necessary to order that the non-custodial parent has no access or visitation rights to the person's biological children.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Child custody in Texas," Accessed on Aug. 21, 2015

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