Child Custody Attorney Explains Three Segments of Child Custody

In a divorce when you're looking at child related issues and you're talking about custody, you're really talking about three different categories. The first category is conservatorship, the second category is possession access, and then your third category is gonna be support which will encompass medical and child support. When you look at conservatorship, you're talking about rights and duties. So in general, it's the rights and duties of each parent. The court will typically award the parents as joint managing conservators, and in some circumstances if the facts dictate it and it's for the best interest of the child, one parent may be sole managing conservator and another parent maybe possessory conservator. Possession access is when you really...that's the time that you have the child. Who gets the child when, that's the actual possession time. And there is a little bit of a inner play between conservatorship and possession time when one parent has the primary residence. So if one parent has the primary residence typically in possession, the other parent will get a standard possession order. The third category of course is the child support and the medical support. And typically the person who has the standard possession order will be paying child support to the person who has the primary residence, the right to designate the primary residence. The medical support is based on the person paying the child support should be able to provide health insurance. If they're unable to provide health insurance or there's a better health insurance option available through the other parent, then the person paying child support can reimburse the other parent for the monthly health insurance premiums. And then the last part of that is that you have uninsured medical expenses for the child, and typically those are shared 50-50.

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