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Legal Information: Texas


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November 5, 2020

What is sole managing conservatorship (SMC)?

Sole managing conservatorship (SMC) means you are the only parent with the legal right to make certain decisions concerning your child. If you are granted SMC, you have the general rights given to a conservator and you are the only parent who has the right to do the following:

  • decide the primary (main) residence of the child;
  • consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures;
  • consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment;
  • receive child support;
  • make decisions concerning the child’s education;
  • represent the child in legal action and make legally-significant decisions concerning the child;
  • consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States;
  • access earnings of the child;
  • act as an agent of the child in relation to the child’s estate; and
  • apply for, renew, and hold onto your child’s passport.1

There are several reasons why a judge might grant one parent sole managing conservatorship:

  • the other parent has a history of family violence, neglect;
  • the other parent has a history of drugs, alcohol or other criminal activity;
  • the other parent has been absent from the child’s life;
  • there is a history of extreme conflict between the parents over educational, medical and religious values; or
  • one parent does not want joint managing conservatorship.2

1 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.132
2 The Texas Young Lawyer’s Association, What to Expect in Texas Family Law Court (2010)