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How difficult is it to gain Sole Managing Conservatorship?

Grand Prairie, TX |

The father of the child is currently being held in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice transfer facility (J Middleton) for Robbery Causing BI. We were never married and there isn't a Child Support or Visitation order currently, but I have requested Child Support through the Attorney General. My question is how difficult would it be to gain 'Sole Managing Conservatorship' since he has been in/out of City and now State jail since 2009 and has had little to no contact with his child and has never provided financial assistance for the child and has also failed to maintain his financial responsibilities with his criminal charges. Would I need a lawyer once the Attorney General's office moves forward with Child Support/Visitation?

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Attorney answers 6


I am sorry that you are going through, given the facts, the incarceration and the specifics regarding your case, only a local attny can give you guidelines, but it does sound like you have a very good/strong case.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


Yes, you need a lawyer. The attorney general represents the state. They are not working in your interest or in your child's interest. You need a lawyer who is working for your interests.

Whether you have sole or joint conservatorship is separate from the support provisions and from the visitation provisions.

Your ex will be in your and the child's life, even if he only pays support.

This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.


Hire your own attorney to help you get sole managing.

This answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. Consult my office for a confidential consultation. Leslie Barrows, The Barrows Firm, P.C. looks forward to protecting your rights!


That is a rather tough situation. It is the public policy of the Texas Court's to encourage parents to share in the rights and duties in raising a child. There is a presumption that parents act in their child's best interest and that they should be appointed Joint Managing Conservators. This presumption can be rebutted by a showing a history and pattern of domestic violence. Your circumstance is obviously unique and the best interest of the child is always the primary consideration. You will likely be required to show that appointing your ex as a joint managing conservator is not in your child's best interest.


The Family Code presumes that parents should be joint managing conservators. However, in extreme situations, such as yours, a court may make you a sole managing conservator and the father of your child a possessory conservator or not a conservator at all. The attorney general's office does not represent you; they are interested in child support alone. You will be better off having your own attorney. If you do not have an attorney, make sure to request that you be made sole managing conservator and bring whatever proof you have for your case to your hearing.


It is relatively easy to get whatever you want when the other party cannot appear because they are in jail. Has be been convicted or is he awaiting trial? The other attorneys are right about the presumption in favor of appointing managing conservators. So you need to offer evidence as to why you should have the sole exclusive rights with respect to the child regarding his education, consulting to medical and psychological care, representing him in legal actions, consenting to marriage and enlistment in the military, etc. Because the other parent is in jail is a pretty good reason. The other difference(s) between managing conservatorship and sole manging conservatorship is his right to obtain information from third parties such as from the child's school and doctors. Do you not want him to be able to obtain that information? If so explain why in Court. The labels are not as important to me as what specific rights you are awarded, and whether he is awarded standard visitation, supervised visitation or no visitation. I would focus on getting custody whatever they call it, no visitation for him or supervised visitation, and exclusive rights for you including the exclusive right to apply for and possess the child's passport. You may be entitled to an award for prenatal expenses, retroactive child support, current child support, and medical support for the child.