Conservatorship Orders



What is Conservatorship?

Conservatorship refers to the principle that one person is given authority to make important decisions on another’s behalf.

In Texas, courts use the term conservatorship to refer to child custody.


When Will a Court Entertain a Request for Conservatorship?

During the divorce process

Courts may consider a conservatorship:

When the court is issuing a decision regarding the paternity of a child 

As part of a family violence protective order case


What are the Different Types of Conservatorship Orders

In Texas, courts have three choices when naming a conservator for a minor child.

These are joint managing conservatorships, sole managing conservatorships and possessory conservatorships.


Joint Managing Conservatorship

In this type of arrangement, both parents share the right to make crucial decisions.

If possible, Texas courts attempt to name both parents joint managing conservators.

Each parent will have a say in decisions like school and healthcare, but this does not mean that each parent will have equal time with their children.


Sole Managing Conservatorship

In this case, one parent has the right to make decisions without the other’s input or approval.

When this happens, there is often a history of physical or substance abuse, or of one parent being absent from the child’s life.


Possessory Conservatorship

In this situation one parent is the sole managing conservator but the other parent has the right to see the child.

Possessory conservators cannot make decisions on their child’s behalf, but they still have a right to see and spend time with their children.

Conservatorship Modification Orders

If circumstances materially and substantially change, either parent may request a modification order.

A parent’s living situation changes

Material changes include:

A parent wants to move for work

A parent’s financial situation changes significantly

A parent is arrested for a crime

Material changes include:

A parent begins suffering from addiction

A parent is alleged to have physically or emotionally abused the child

At the Law Office of Jason Wright, our Austin conservatorship attorneys have extensive experience helping parents through the emotionally challenging process of obtaining a conservatorship.