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Jacksonville Family Lawyers
Divorce | Custody | Child Support


Jacksonville Child Custody Attorney

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Many people delay the idea of divorce due to concern for their children. They don’t want their children to go through that.

In fact β€œstaying together for the kids” has become so common that it is practically a cliche. However, in some situations, β€œstaying together” is not the best solution for your children. A child can feel more secure with two separate households than in one dysfunctional one. Watching parents fight can leave a child with feelings of fear and anxiety. They do not understand what is happening or why it is happening, and do not know what will happen to them.

Many households function well with shared child custody arrangements. Both parents are more relaxed and comfortable with their lives, allowing them to form a closer bond with their children without the stress of a failing or uncertain marital relationship. Our Jacksonville child custody attorneys assist you with developing an equitable time-sharing and custody arrangement that meets the needs of your changing family.

Call Jacksonville Family Law today at (904) 337-4891 for a Free Consultation!

Factors Considered in Child Custody Cases

When determining the best interests of the child in custody cases, courts consider several key factors:

  • The ability of each parent to provide a safe, stable, and loving home environment
  • The emotional ties and bond between the child and each parent
  • The mental and physical health of the parents
  • Any history of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect
  • The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community
  • If the child is old enough, the child’s preference
  • Each parent’s willingness to encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The ability of the parents to communicate and cooperate on matters related to the child

Courts aim to craft a custody arrangement that fosters the child’s happiness, security, mental health, and emotional development. Each family’s unique circumstances are carefully considered to determine what is in the child’s best interests.

Parental Responsibility & Decision Making Rights

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The first component is Parental Responsibility. This determines the authority each parent has concerning decision-making for the child. In most cases, the court will grant shared parental responsibility, which means that both parents have an equal say in major decisions that affect their child’s life, such as:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Religious upbringing

The idea behind shared parental responsibility is that both parents should cooperate to make these important decisions, even if they are no longer married.

However, there can be situations where the Court would determine that one parent has greater authority in major decisions. This is known as sole parental responsibility, and it is typically only granted in cases where one parent has been deemed unfit or incapable of making decisions in the child’s best interest. For example, suppose one parent has a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, or mental illness. In that case, the court may grant sole parental responsibility to the other parent to ensure the child’s safety and well-being.

It’s important to note that even if one parent is granted sole parental responsibility, this does not necessarily mean that the other parent will be completely cut out of the child’s life. The court may still grant visitation rights to the non-custodial parent, as long as it is deemed safe and appropriate for the child.

Time-Sharing & Physical Custody

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The second component of child custody arrangements is Time Sharing. This is the division of custody where each parent is given allotted time to spend with their child. Time Sharing is a crucial aspect of co-parenting, as it ensures the child can maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents.

One parent may have more time than the other, but this just comes down to what is in the child’s best interest. The courts will carefully consider various factors when determining the Time Sharing schedule, such as:

  • The child’s age
  • The parents’ work schedules
  • The distance between the parents’ homes
  • The child’s educational and extracurricular commitments

The goal is to create a schedule that allows the child to thrive and maintain stability and continuity.

The courts will also work towards the best possible situation for the child. This typically includes them having a loving and healthy relationship with both parents. The courts recognize that children benefit greatly from having both parents actively involved in their lives, providing love, support, and guidance.

In cases where one parent may have a history of abuse, neglect, or substance abuse issues, the court may limit their Time Sharing or require supervised visitation to ensure the child’s safety and well-being.

Ultimately, the Time-Sharing schedule should be designed to promote the child’s happiness, security, and emotional development. Parents should strive to be flexible and cooperative when it comes to Time-Sharing, always keeping the child’s needs at the forefront of their decision-making. By working together and prioritizing their child’s well-being, parents can create a successful co-parenting arrangement that allows their child to thrive and maintain strong bonds with both parents.


Let’s Talk- Free Child Custody Consultation

Jacksonville Child Custody Attorney Grig Logo H1 br 300x105Dealing with custody can be scary, but being prepared can help ease your anxiety and make this easier for both you and your children. We help you understand what the process is like, what to expect, and what your goals are. We then work with you to develop a plan to accomplish those goals and so that you know what your next steps are and what to do if any custody issues arise.

Call Jacksonville Family Law today at (904) 337-4891 for a Free Consultation!