Austin Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody is also called “conservatorship.” Conservatorship laws outline the legal rights and responsibilities a conservator has as the child’s parent, which a dedicated family attorney could explain in more detail.

Typically, a judge will determine conservatorship unless both parents can mutually agree on a custody plan, in which case the court will simply need to approve the written agreement. A judge’s primary concern when determining conservatorship is the best interest of the child. When you are concerned about the terms of co-parenting your child, an Austin child custody lawyer could help.

General Conservatorship Rights

Conservators have rights, such as the right to:

  • Access the child’s medical and educational records
  • Get information from the other parent about the child’s general welfare, including health and education
  • Consult a physician or other medical professional about the child’s health
  • Consult with school officials about the child’s educational status and general welfare
  • Consent to emergency medical treatment in which the child’s life is endangered

Types of Conservatorships

In Texas, there are two types of conservatorships: joint managing conservatorships (JMC) and sole managing conservatorships (SMC).

  • Joint Managing Conservatorships – The state presumes that both parents will be named as joint managing conservators, meaning both parents will share the rights and responsibilities for the child. These responsibilities, among other parental duties, will be outlined in detail by the court. However, one parent may still be granted the right to exclusively make decisions for the child in this case.One thing to keep in mind about JMCs is that they do not automatically insinuate that both parents will split their time equally with the child. These custody and visitation rights are outlined in a separate visitation order known as a standard possession order (SPO).
  • Sole Managing Conservatorships – This is an agreement where the court grants only one parent these parental rights and responsibilities, including the ability to make decisions on the child’s living arrangements, healthcare, education, and extracurricular activities. An SMC will also be listed as the child’s emergency contact for school-related or other activities. SMCs are typically the recipients of child support as well.Generally speaking, courts only designate one parent as the SMC in relatively extreme circumstances, such as if one parent has a history of violence, neglect, substance abuse, if one parent has largely been absent from the child’s life, or if both parents bitterly disagree on religious, educational, or medical values.

Visitation Orders

In Texas, visitation is known as the “possession of and access to a child.” A parent will not be able to get this access if the court determines it is not in the child’s best interest or if it poses a threat to their health or safety.

Once a judge determines that a parent is fit to have access to the child, they will create an SPO according to specific guidelines. Parents can also create this agreement themselves and have the court sign off on it.

Determining child custody can be a contentious and emotionally-taxing ordeal, which is why you need a seasoned family law attorney to guide you every step of the way. Kimbrough Legal helps Austin parents navigate this complicated legal terrain so that the child can thrive under the new agreements set up by a divorce. To schedule your free consultation, contact us here.

Why Choose Kimbrough Legal, PLLC?

  • Modern Law Firm – Our firm uses the latest technology to serve our clients. Clients can access the online portal to review their files any time of the day and night and connect with the firm via text message if desired.
  • Numerous 5-star Reviews – We have accumulated dozens of 5-star reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other websites. Also, Tychanika (Tycha) Kimbrough has a “Superb” rating on the legal website Avvo.
  • Community Focused – Our managing attorney, Tycha Kimbrough, provides various community services and pro bono work, including advocating for marginalized individuals, mentoring people, and volunteering with legal organizations.
  • By Your Side Every Step of the Way – We know that criminal and family law matters can be complex and confusing for clients, so we make the process as clear and simple as possible. Our team is available and communicative and guides clients through each step of the process.

Contact our office today to set up a confidential consultation.


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