If a parent is given sole custody in Texas, what that means is that the parent is given the exclusive right to manage certain aspects of the child’s life to the exclusion of the other parent. Below is a list of rights that the “sole” parent is given.

It should be noted that it is extremely difficult to win sole custody in Texas.  Unless a parent is not involved in any manner, is dangerous, is a criminal or is abusive, the parents are awarded as joint managing conservators and neither parents is given these sole rights to the exlusion of the other parent.

It is also important to note that these rights to not say that the sole managing conservator is the person that sets the visitation schedule of the child, or prevents the other parent from having unsupervised access to the child.  The parenting schedule is different than have sole managing rights.

For these terminology reasons, this is a highly confusing area of Texas custody law.

§153.132. Rights and Duties of Parent Appointed Sole Managing Conservator-AMENDED.

Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as sole managing conservator of a child has the rights and duties provided by Subchapter B and the following exclusive rights:

  • the right to designate the primary residence of the child;
  • the right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures;
  • the right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment;
  • the right to receive and give receipt for periodic payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse these funds for the benefit of the child;
  • the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;
  • the right to consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States;
  • the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education;
  • the right to the services and earnings of the child; [and]
  • except when a guardian of the child’s estate or a guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the child, the right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child’s estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government; and
  • the right to:
    • apply for a passport for the child; (B) renew the child’s passport; and  maintain possession of the child’s passport.

How To Win Sole Custody In Texas

  • First, please understand that if both parents are involved in the child’s life, it can be impossible to win sole custody;
  • You need to hire a law firm that focuses on family law;
  • You need to plan a budget that will enable the firm and its experts to help you explain why sole custody is necessary;
  • You will need to spend time gathering proof that the other parent is unfit.  (drug use, abuse, complete absence, reasons that the parent is damaging to your child).
  • You will need to make a strategy to present your case to the court.