Sole Custody

Sole Custody

Texas Family Code § 153.131 establishes that it is a rebuttable presumption that the appointment of the parents of a child as joint managing conservators is in the best interest of the child or children. When one person is trying to be appointed as the sole managing conservator in a child custody case, he or she will have to overcome that presumption by presenting other evidence that doing so would be in the best interest of the child or children.

When a parent is designated as a sole managing conservator, the other parent can still be named a possessory conservator and will retain certain rights. Any person who is seeking sole custody of a child or children will want to retain legal counsel because of the number of significant challenges he or she will likely face.

Attorney for Sole Custody in Houston, TX

If you or the other parent is seeking sole custody of a child or children in Southeast Texas, it is in your best interest to make sure that you retain legal counsel.

[firm] represents clients in Houston and surrounding areas of Harris County and Fort Bend County.

Houston divorce lawyer Michael Sydow is experienced in Civil Trial Law. He can provide a complete evaluation when you call [phone] to receive a free, no obligation consultation.


Harris County Sole Custody Information Center


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Rights and Duties of Sole Conservators in Texas

Under Texas Family Code § 153.073, a parent appointed as a conservator of a child has at all times the right:

  • to receive information from any other conservator of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;
  • to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;
  • of access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child;
  • to consult with a physician, dentist, or psychologist of the child;
  • to consult with school officials concerning the child’s welfare and educational status, including school activities;
  • to attend school activities;
  • to be designated on the child’s records as a person to be notified in case of an emergency;
  • to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child; and
  • to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.

Texas Family Code § 153.132 further provides that a parent appointed as sole managing conservator of a child has the following exclusive rights:

  • the right to designate the primary residence of the child;
  • the right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures;
  • the right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment;
  • the right to receive and give receipt for periodic payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse these funds for the benefit of the child;
  • the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;
  • the right to consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States;
  • the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education;
  • the right to the services and earnings of the child; and
  • except when a guardian of the child’s estate or a guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the child, the right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child’s estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government.

Under Texas Family Code § 153.005(a), the court can appoint a sole managing conservator in a suit, and appoint at least one managing conservator if the parents are or will be separated. The managing conservator must be a parent, a competent adult, the Department of Family and Protective Services, or a licensed child-placing agency.


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Overcoming the Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Conservatorship in Harris County

Texas Family Code § 153.005(c) states that when making such a conservatorship appointment, the court will consider whether, preceding the filing of the suit or during the pendency of the suit:

  • a party engaged in a history or pattern of family violence;
  • a party engaged in a history or pattern of child abuse or child neglect; or
  • a final protective order was rendered against a party.

Texas Family Code § 153.004(e), establishes a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interest of a child for a parent to have unsupervised visitation with the child if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or abuse or family violence by that parent or any person who resides in that parent’s household or who is permitted by that parent to have unsupervised access to the child during that parent’s periods of possession of or access to the child.

In a nonjury trial or at a hearing, on the application of a party, the amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem for the child, Texas Family Code § 153.009 requires the court to interview in chambers a child 12 years of age or older to determine the child’s wishes as to conservatorship or as to the person who shall have the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence. A parent seeking sole conservatorship may also submit evidence that demonstrates the possessory conservator has a history of missed appointments or absent parenting.


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Sole Custody Resources in Texas
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) — A federal or state district court can order a child into temporary DFPS custody if it finds that the child is imminently likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from the state. DFPS can also file a suit to obtain custody of a child or to terminate parental rights in certain cases. Visit this website to learn more about DFPS, including how child abuse and neglect reports are investigated and other services the agency provides.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child and Family Visitation Best Practice Guide — View the full text of a DFPS guide that discusses best practices relating to child visitation. The guide touches on research into visitation as well as stages of supervision. You can also find information about the environment and frequency of visitation.


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Find a Sole Custody Attorney in Houston, TX

Are you or the other parent seeking sole custody of your child or children in Southeast Texas? You will want to contact [firm] as soon as possible.

Michael Sydow is an experienced divorce attorney in Houston who helps individuals in communities throughout Fort Bend County and Harris County.

Call [phone] or submit an online contact form to have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.


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