Joint Managing Conservatorship or Joint Custody, Now the Decision of Many Family Courts

Family courts consider many different factors when making decisions over divorce-related issues, which include child custody and visitation rights, child support, spousal support or alimony, and division of property, assets and debts. Though these factors usually differ from one state to another, there is one similar basis when it comes to determining who shall have custody of the child: the child’s best interest.

A child custody lawyer from the law firm Kirker Davis, LLP, explains that, under Texas statute, the overarching standard for Austin and Texas courts in making conservatorship determinations is to ensure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child and to encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising a child after they have separated or divorced.`

More than one hundred years ago, child custody was a right enjoyed by fathers; this was due to the Property Law and inheritance issues that were in effect during those times. The early 1900s saw a new direction in how courts decided over child custody cases. Having perceived that mothers were naturally better caretakers of their children, there was, then, the transfer of custodial right to mothers. This perception came to be known as the “The Tender Years Doctrine” and it remained to be observed up to the 1970s.

Since then, neither father nor mother has the sole right to custodianship or conservatorship because so long as the court finds both parents fit to care for their child, then the child will not be denied the love and care of both parents. This is why many courts today are in favor of joint conservatorship and, so, give both parents equal time with their child, as well as equal rights in making decisions for their child’s well-being. Under the joint managing conservatorship ruling, the child may either reside with one parent at a location that is easily accessible to the other parent, or move from one parent’s residence to another.

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