Does physical custody involve not having legal custody of your children? 1 Answers as of November 09, 2010

My wife and I are just starting a divorce, and we have two children. I read elsewhere that there are three types of custody: legal, physical, and a combination. My question is: does physical custody mean one parent does not have legal control over the children? Are these types of custody even correct? How do they work?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Yes and no. Physical custody and legal custody are terms that have different definitions depending on the circumstances and who you are talking to.

In Texas, we use the term "Conservator" to refer to a parent that has decision power and the decree will specify what decision power each conservator holds or shares with the other. You can have a "Possessory Right" that is the right to have possession or visitation with the child but no decision power or you can have decision power on only certain items.

In Texas we have two types of conservatorships. Joint and Sole. Joint means both parents have some rights to make decisions. Sole means one parent has all the decision rights (health, education, where the child lives, etc.) Under each type of conservatorship there is a "Primary" conservator (the parent that has possession of the children most of the time) and a "Possessory" conservator (the parent that has access/visitation).

You can read a lot more on this subject on my website.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/9/2010
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