Joint Custody in Texas
Texas has some unusual terminology about custody. Instead of saying "custody," we call it "conservatorship." The parents of a child can be "joint managing conservators." Alternatively, one parent can be the "sole managing conservator." If one parent is the sole managing conservator, the other parent is the "possessory conservator."
So what's all that mean? "Conservatorship" over a child actually refers to the rights and duties a parent has with respect to the child. Only one of these rights is to determine where (in other words, with which parent) the child will live. One parent or the other receives that power on divorce. In a true joint managing conservatorship, the rest of the rights and duties are shared between the parents with each parent having an equal voice.
Texas Family Code section 153.073 lists the rights of a parent. They are:
Texas Family Code section 153.131 presumes that both parents will be appointed joint managing conservators of a child. Section 153.131(a) says that "both parents shall be appointed as joint managing conservators of the child" unless the court finds an appointment would not be in the child's best interest "because the appointment would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional development."
The parent with whom the child primarily lives also has the right to receive child support.
Section 153.131(b) goes on to say:
Check out the Grandparent Rights Reporter.