Texas Family Law Resources

Questions about the divorce process?  About custody and visitation under Texas law? About terms in your divorce or custody paperwork that you aren’t familiar with?  Check out the resources below:

 Common terms in family law cases involving children:

SAPCR = Suit Affecting Parent Child Relationship

CONSERVATORSHIP = This term is what most people call ”custody.”  “Conservatorship” addresses the legal and physical aspects of sharing children when the parents (or parties) are no longer married or have never been married.  You actually will not find the term “custody” in Texas law.  

JOINT CONSERVATORSHIP/JOINT MANAGING CONSERVATOR (JMC) = Under Texas law, the court starts with the presumption that both parents should have joint conservatorship of the children.  That means that with respect to their children, each parent is a joint managing conservator.  They both have equal rights and duties, EXCEPT that generally one parent will have one additional exclusive right - the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child.  When a parent refers to having “primary custody,” that usually means the parent has this additional exclusive right that the other parent does not have. 

SOLE CONSERVATORSHIP/SOLE MANAGING CONSERVATOR = Instead of JMC, one parent may be appointed as the “sole managing conservator” and the other parent will be called the “possessory conservator.” Only when there are major negatives against a parent, such as domestic abuse, drug/alcohol use, or serious recent criminal history, will the court consider applying the sole/possessory titles to the parents. 

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