There is no doubt that a divorce affects children the most. When parents engage in a war of words, children suffer emotionally. They are not sure who will get physical custody of the children or who will pay child support. In Texas, child custody is referred to as conservatorship. Conservatorship describes the responsibilities and legal rights of parents.
The terms of child custody or conservatorship should be decided by parents. But if they can't agree on a child custody plan, the court will intervene and design a child custody plan for them. The court always considers the best interest of the child while deciding on a child custody plan.
There are two kinds of conservatorships in Texas. These are a sole-managing conservatorship, or SMC, and a joint-managing conservatorship, or JMC.
Conservatorship bestows certain rights on the parents. A parent has the right to receive information about a child's health, education, and welfare. A parent without child custody also has the right to access the child's educational and medical records and can talk to the child's doctor about any medical concerns and so on. If the child needs surgery or medical treatment, doctors and hospitals must receive the parent's consent. The parent also has the right to consult with the child's teachers about the child's development.
In Texas, many parents get a JMC. In that case, both parents share their responsibilities as parents. Even in such a situation, one parent may have exclusive rights over the other. In cases where the parents have a JMC, the court will specify the responsibility of each parent. The court will again consider the best interest of the child before handing over conservatorship.
Source: State.TX.us, "FAMILY CODE," Accessed on Nov. 12, 2014