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Being a Single Mom and Primary Conservator

Leslie Barrows
 | Published: 
May 19, 2022
 | Category: 
Child Custody

Being a Single Mom and Primary Conservator Requires Many Superhero Capes and Hats

Sole Managing Conservatorship is a big responsibility and being a single mom and primary conservator is a big deal and takes lots of energy and hard work. And even though many single moms find support through groups, family, friends, and neighbors, those superhero capes, and hats they wear get tired and dirty as well sometimes. We all face major challenges in life and adulting isn’t easy. Even when everything was done right, marriages can fail, co-parenting can break down, and people can be left to go at it alone, seemingly without the care of anyone else on Earth. Moms want their kids to respect and acknowledge their efforts and sacrifices while balancing everything and it’s just hard sometimes.

May is the month to celebrate mothers and give them the acknowledgment and respect they deserve, especially the mothers going it alone as single parents, many without dads being involved, or at a level far under par. We can learn to acknowledge what it must be like to walk in the shoes of another and remember to give folks a break when they have so much on their plates, like our family, friends, and neighbors, who are single mothers. Hip Hip, Hooray, for Superhero Moms!

Moms in need of lawyers on their superhero team can call one of the caped crusaders in the family law community, boy mom, Leslie Barrows, who has spent her career fighting for good parents, and happy kiddos who only want the best. There is a team of friendly lawyers, paralegals, and staff at the Barrows Firm in Southlake for all your needs.

Read Our Article: The Child Custody Modification Process in Texas

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Reasons People Become Single Mothers and Primary Conservators

Divorce, break-ups, abandonment, domestic violence, rape, death, and childbirth are all named as common reasons people become single parents. Single mothers rarely tell you they planned to raise one or more children without help or financial support. And make no mistake about it, the help is more than just money and actions, it’s the emotional support of a teammate in a game of child-rearing and life where the rules are always changing, and the game gets so hard at times it breaks the best and strongest people.

If there has not been a determination of parental rights, that can be done by filing a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, asper the Texas Family Code, and the Court will acknowledge and establish an order and judgment regarding the rights and duties of each parent, and when appropriate, one parent will be appointed as the Sole Managing Conservator a/k/a Primary Conservator. This also happens in a divorce with child custody at issue, and the Court decides when the parties will not or cannot.

Where Did the Fathers Go? Can We Get Them in the Picture?

The importance of fathers in the development of children is irreplaceable. No matter how good a single-parent mom might be, dads are vital to children and their influence fosters inner growth and strength. Just because the father might not be in the current picture, that is no reason to give up on having the daddy come around at some point and be reintroduced into a parental role. Even if supervised visitation is what is required, for example, if the father had been unavailable or a criminal or family violence situation was the issue.

Meanwhile, other dads are also good role models and so are uncles and grandfathers. Being honest and upfront with children of appropriate ages may be okay when there are questions about their dad and why he isn’t around. It is easy for kids to assume dad just doesn’t want them or doesn’t care, and they crave reassurance it’s important to reinforce to them that they are wanted and loved, and it is not their fault dad isn’t present.  

What Parental Rights Do Mothers Solely Manage as Primary Conservators?

In Texas, Primary Conservators, also called Sole Managing Conservators, have the equivalent of what we call “sole custody ”or “primary custody” of their children. The Texas Family Code assigns specific rights and duties to parents as the Code lays out issues and rules that apply to parents and children. And even though the mother may be the Primary Conservator, that does not mean that the father does not have visitation time, referred to as Possession and Access.

Mothers as Primary Conservators have the sole right to make legal decisions on behalf of a child, without needing to consult with the other parent.

The Biggest Financial Problems and Stress of Single Mothers Raising Kids Without Help

Do you think the price of gas, food, and household goods increasing causes a budget problem in most North Texas homes? You are right, and even those families doing well are feeling the crunch. Now imagine you area single mother barely keeping up and paying premiums to live in good neighborhoods and school districts where their daughters and sons have the best opportunities to get ahead and make a name for themselves.

Summer camp, college coming up, the car needs something, the AC just died, HELP! While mom is trying to shake the money tree in the backyard, the school is calling because one of her kids is having trouble in class. Mom is so frazzled trying to keep this family running and she cannot be everywhere, every time, doing everything others demand.

What would you do to step in and offer help to a single mom if she told you what was going on? And would her pride get in the way of her even making a mention of how bad it’s going? How many suffer silently fearing the judgment of others, and being looked at as weak or needy?

Going After Child Support and Enforcement of Court Orders

Most dads are good and contribute to the needs of their children, emotionally, physically, and financially, through child support payments. If dad is around and subject to child support obligations, then it is necessary to get child support established. A paternity issue may be your challenge, but not to worry, establishing paternity is relatively straightforward, as shown in our recent article, Establishing Paternity for Parental Rights and Child Support.

If child support needs to be set up, we can help with that at the Barrows Firm, and if an enforcement action needs to be filed, we can do that as well and get the Court to order current and any retroactive child support obligations and get dad on a Support Order with paycheck withholding.

Using the Barrows Firm to Supplement Supermom Powers When Being a Single Mom and Primary Conservator

Whatever you need, mom, we are there for you at the Barrows Firm and we salute you this May, for being a superhero, and proudly fighting to be the best you can be while raising respectful children who are going to make you and everyone proud. And while their young adulthood seems so far off sometimes, that time flies by fast and when you look back, we want you to have good memories and remember that there are good people here to help you, who have your back.