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Conservatorship orders divide various parental rights and duties, including (1) the right to make major decisions regarding the children; (2) the right to have physical possession of the children; and (3) the duty to financially support the children among the parents after the divorce. The possessory conservator may be virtually eliminated from the process of making decisions concerning health, education and welfare. The sole managing conservator takes sole responsibility for a child, making all the important decisions regarding health (both mental and physical), education, and moral or religious upbringing alone.
Conservatorship is governed by state laws. For example, the legal presumption in Texas is that the parents should be named joint managing conservators, so that parental rights and responsibilities are divided between the parents or exercised by agreement. When joint managing conservatorship is awarded, the parties or the judge must decide on how to divide the rights and duties, which is written into the decree.
The following is an example of a law governing possessory and managing conservators:
Family Code § 153.005. Appointment of Sole or Joint Managing Conservator:
Family Code § 153.006. Appointment of Possessory Conservator: