Possession, Access, & Conservator ship jeanpage

Why There Is No Such Thing as Custody in Texas Law

Texas has some unique laws when it comes to the custody of children. Whether one lives in San Antonio or Dallas, if there is even a chance of a dispute, people need to know how the system works.

“Custody” is not a term used in the Texas Family Code. The code refers to it as “conservatorship”. “Custody” tends to imply that a child is a possession, while “conservatorship” focuses on the duties, rights and benefits of a relationship between a parent and their child. So in Texas law, there is no such thing as “full custody” or “joint custody”.

Instead, Texas has implemented two types of conservatorships. There are managing conservators and there are possessory conservators.

A managing conservator has all of the rights that any normal parent has, including access to the child and possession of the child. They have the right to make decisions about the child’s school, medical care, moral principles, and so on.

A possessory conservator really only has the right to have limited access to their child. A court has the right to terminate access and conservatorship if the conservator is determined to be someone who could endanger the child’s welfare.

No matter what the situation, Texas courts uphold the notion that all parents have an obligation to provide food, shelter, health care and an education for their children.

The court system is very complex and anyone involved in it needs to at least consult a family law practice to get some general advice on how to navigate the system.


Jean Brown, the founding attorney of Jean Brown Law Firm, is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas State Bar Association, and the San Antonio Family Lawyer’s Association. She is licensed to practice in the Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern Federal Districts of Texas, and is a licensed mediator in family law matters. She is also a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Delta Phi, attorneys’ honor societies.

Contact Us Now

Please fill out form below

Free Case Evaluation

Phone: (210) 354-2662
Fax: (210) 354-2602
222 E Main Plaza,
San Antonio, TX 78205