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Conservatorship Issues: Rights and Duties

Conservatorship addresses the rights and duties that a parent possesses for their child.  When a SAPCR is filed, the parents' individual rights and duties to the children is determined and made part of the trial court's order. A conservator may be a non-parent, e.g., a relative, a friend, or government entity.  The court may also appoint temporary conservators pending a final hearing. A conservators can be a Sole Managing Conservator, Joint Managing Conservator, or Possessory Conservator.  

Following below are the rights and duties of a parent or managing conservator, which may be modified by the court and some rights can be exclusive, joint, or individual.

Rights and Duties

  • Rights and Duties of a Parent

    1. the right to have physical possession, to direct the moral and religious training, and to designate the residence of the child
    2. the duty to care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child
    3. the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, medical and dental care, and education
    4. the duty, except when a guardian of the child’s estate has been appointed to manage the estate of the child, including the right as an agent of the child to act in relation to the child’s estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government
    5. except as provided by Section 264.0111 of the Texas Family Code, the right to services and earnings of the child
    6. the right to consent to the child’s marriage, enlistment in the armed forces of the United States, medical and dental care, and psychological, psychiatric, and surgical treatment
    7. the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child
    8. the right to receive and give receipt for payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse those funds for the benefit for the child
    9. the right to inherit through the child
    10. the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education; and
    11. any other right or duty existing between a parent and child by virtue of law.
  • Rights of Parents at all Times

    1. to receive information from any other conservator (parent or guardian) of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child
    2. to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child
    3. of access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child
    4. to consult with a physician, dentist, or psychologist of the child
    5. to consult with school officials concerning the child’s welfare and educational status, including school activities
    6. to attend school activities
    7. to be designated on the child’s records as a person to be notified in case of an emergency
    8. to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to health and safety of the child; and
    9. to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.
  • During Time of Possession
    1. the duty of care, control, and reasonable discipline of the child
    2. the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food , shelter, and medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure
    3. the right to consent for the child to medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure; and
    4. the right to direct the moral and religious training of the child.