Texas uses the term “conservatorship” instead of custody, which describes a parent’s relationship with their child when there is a court order. In order for legal custody to be established, whether it’s through a paternity or divorce action, there must be a court order. Without an order, a family court judge has nothing to enforce.
“What is a conservator?” It refers to a person who has been awarded custody of a child through a court order. In Texas, conservators fall into three categories: 1) joint managing conservators, 2) sole managing conservators, and 3) possessory conservators.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to discuss sole managing and possessory conservators, and what they mean to supervised visitation.
Sole Managing vs. Possessory Conservators
When it is in the child’s best interests, the court will name one parent (or even a non-parent) a sole managing conservator, which means he or she will have the exclusive right to make decisions for their child.
Reasons why one parent may be named a sole managing conservator:
- The other parent is physically abusive
- The other parent is sexually abusive
- The other parent neglects the child
- The other parent abuses drugs or alcohol
- The other parent abandoned the child
- The other parent has a serious mental illness
- The other parent is incarcerated for a violent felony
If one of the parents is named the sole managing conservator, usually the non-custodial parent is named the possessory conservator. In severe cases, the possessory conservator may be only allowed supervised visits with his or her child, especially in cases of serious child abuse, or child molestation.
Supervised Visitation Defined
When a parent receives supervised visitation, he or she has not had his or her parental rights terminated. Instead, the possessory conservator can visit with his or her children, but the visits must be supervised by another adult. Supervised visits can be conducted by a friend, a trusted family member, or by a professional agency that charges a fee.
To learn more about supervised visitation in Katy or Cypress, or any other child custody matter, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC today.