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An overview of conservatorship in the state of Texas -- Part I

Child custody issues can be one of the most contentious issues under the family law umbrella in Texas. Child custody issues not only involve divorcing couples, but also apply to unmarried couples who have had a child. A Texas family court judge will typically look all the evidence and arguments brought forth by the respective attorneys of the couple in order to understand the child custody arrangement that will serve the "best interests of the child" in question. The parent that is given custody over the child will be named the child's conservator under Texas law.

While many parents believe in going through traditional litigation procedures, some also prefer alternative dispute resolutions such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration. If the parents and their attorneys can agree on a child custody arrangement without going through litigation, then a court would review that arrangement to see if it is fair.

After obtaining the rights to child custody, whether joint child custody or even sole custody, each parent still has legal rights toward their children as well as towards one another. Each parent has the right to get information from the other parent regarding the education, health and welfare information of the child.

Furthermore, the parents also have access to their children's medical records, including psychological and dental records. The parents can also talk to the attending physicians and doctors regarding their children's healthcare. The parents' consent is also required in cases where any medical procedure needs to be performed on the child.

Parents also have the legal right to speak to school authorities in order to get updates regarding their children's education and welfare needs. This right also includes extracurricular activities.

Source: Findlaw, "Child custody in Texas," Accessed on Aug. 14, 2015

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