Deciding child custody issues can be difficult even during amicable divorces. All decisions must be made in the best interest of the child, but when you and your ex disagree about what is best for your child, it can be hard to come to terms. Here are some basics of child custody, so you will have a greater understanding of what to expect.

What is a conservator/conservatorship?

A conservator is a person that has custody of a child. Parents are often conservators, but grandparents, adult siblings, uncles, aunts, and even friends of the family can also gain custody of a child depending on the circumstances.

What are the different types of conservators?

A joint managing conservatorship provides both parents with equal decision-making authority. This is separate from the possession order, which lays out the parenting schedule for the child, including where he or she will live during different parts of the year. There is also sole managing conservatorship, which imbues one parent with full authority over child-rearing decisions. In this case, the other parent would be considered the possessory conservator, meaning that he or she would hold some parental rights but would be deprived of a final say in choices involving the child.

When can I apply for a custody order?

Custody is a common facet of divorce cases, but it can also be a factor in cases involving paternity disputes. It can also result from a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) case, which is usually filed by a parent seeking court-ordered visitation, custody, or child support. Spouses filing protective orders against their partners can also request custody during the hearing.