Divorce is a complex process that not only involves the dissolution of a marriage but also addressing concerns related to the children involved. One crucial aspect that often arises in divorce proceedings is conservatorship.
You can make informed decisions in your divorce regarding child custody by understanding the role of conservatorships following a divorce.
What is a conservatorship?
Conservatorship, in the context of divorce, refers to the legal rights and responsibilities of each parent concerning their children. It outlines who makes decisions for the child and how they will share parenting duties. The terms “custody” and “visitation” are often used interchangeably with conservatorship.
What are the different types of conservatorship?
In most divorce cases, there are two potential types of conservatorship. The first is a joint managing conservatorship. In this arrangement, both parents share equal rights in making decisions regarding healthcare and upbringing for their children. The other type is a sole managing conservatorship. This entails one parent receiving primary decision-making authority for the child while the other parent retains visitation rights with limited decision-making power.
Are there other factors in determining conservatorship?
Courts consider several factors when determining conservatorship arrangements, including:
- The child’s age and preferences
- The physical and emotional well-being of each parent
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable and nurturing environment
- The willingness of each parent to encourage a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any history of family violence or abuse
Based on these factors, the court might choose one parent over the other as the primary conservator or opt for a joint conservatorship arrangement if both parents are equally capable caregivers.
Are parenting plans related to conservatorships?
As part of the conservatorship process, parents must create a parenting plan that outlines the details of how they will co-parent. This plan should cover visitation schedules, decision-making responsibilities and dispute resolution methods. Courts typically encourage parents to work together to create a plan that serves the best interests of the child.
Sources suggest that as many as 50% of children in America will witness the end of their parent’s marriage, meaning that the topic of conservatorships will likely arise in many divorces.