Conservatorship Suits – A digestible overview
With all this talk in previous blogs about suits affecting the parent-child relationship, I think now is a great time to discuss conservatorship suits – specifically, what they are and who can be appointed as the conservator for a child.
First thing’s first, a conservator is a person appointed by a judge to manage the financial affairs and/or daily life of a child. This person makes decisions on behalf of the child, and each of those decisions must be made with the child’s best interests in mind.
With that being said, a conservatorship suit establishes exactly who that person is in the eyes of the court. The following people can seek appointment as a conservator:
- Competent adult
- The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
- Licensed child-placing agency
The conservatorship suit not only determines who will act on behalf of the child, but it also determines certain rights and duties for that conservator. Those rights and duties can include if that person will make decisions for a child (legal custody) and have rights of possession of and access to the child (physical custody and visitation).
Conservators have a number of default rights and duties associated with a child under their control and possession. These default rights and duties can be limited or expanded by the court. Some of those rights and duties include, but are not limited to:
- Having physical contact
- Direct moral and religious training
- Consent for treatment
- Act as agent
- Consent to marriage
- Act as legal representative
- Make educational decisions.
- Access medical, dental, psychological and educational records
- Inherit from child
- Support child
A final note: When determining who will be appointed as the conservator for a child, the court first must consider what is in the child’s best interest, then consider imperatives such as giving a child frequent contact with parents who show they are acting in the child’s best interest, providing the child with a safe, stable and nonviolent environment, and encouraging parents after separation or divorce to share those duties of raising the child.
If you would like more information on this topic, or perhaps you have a specific question that wasn’t completely answered with the information above, give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call. Talking these details out beforehand can help steer your family in a more positive direction. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today.