Understanding Parental Rights of a Child
In Texas child custody cases, a parent can be appointed sole managing conservator or joint managing conservator of the child. Each has rights and duties concerning the best interest of the child.
As stated in the Texas Family Code:
If both parents are appointed as conservators of the child, the court shall specify the rights and duties of a parent that are to be exercised:
- by each parent independently
- by the joint agreement of the parents; and
- exclusively by one parent.
Unless limited by court order, 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.
The court shall specify in the order the rights that a parent retains at all times. Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as a conservator of a child has the following rights and duties during the period that the parent has possession of the child:
- the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child;
- the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, and medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure;
- the right to consent for the child to medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure; and
- the right to direct the moral and religious training of the child.
Updated July 18, 2019 by Shane Kersh