Jacksonville Child Custody Lawyer
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Of all the issues raised in divorce, child custody is among the most contentious. The right to spend time with our children, to make decisions affecting their lives, and to personally see to their well-being is of vital importance to most parents. Having a skilled divorce attorney to represent you can make a significant difference in the outcome of child custody matters. At the Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., we understand how much is at stake.
Our lawyers have 90+ years of collective experience, with an extensive background in family law. Mr. Porter has a Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating and a 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo. Our firm has built an excellent reputation based on legal skill and dedication to the best possible results for our clients. We realize that no two families are alike, and we will strive to create a personalized, innovative strategy for your particular case.
Joint Custody in Florida
Under Florida state law, there is no such term as joint custody. Both parents have "time sharing" with their children, as ordered by the court based on the best interests of the child. When both parents share legal and physical custody of the child, it is called "shared parental responsibility." To protect your rights to spend time with your children and make important decisions affecting their lives, you need the representation of an experienced Jacksonville divorce lawyer.
In a shared parental responsibility situation, both parents must agree on all major decisions affecting the child's welfare. When one parent has primary physical custody, they must create a sense of normality for the child, including establishing:
- A primary residence
- A school
- A physician
The other parent may be granted generous visitation time to remain part of the child's life. The courts prefer a time-sharing arrangement that allows both parents to have ample time with the child. Child support is still calculated using state guidelines in an equal time sharing arrangement. The amount of support depends on:
- Income of both parents
- Costs of daycare
- Health insurance
- Uncovered medical expenses
- Percentage of time sharing awarded to each parent
Generally, the amount of child support will decrease in proportion to the amount of time sharing enjoyed by the paying parent.
Protecting Your Child's Best Interests
Child custody issues can arise in situations other than divorce. When the other parent is incapable of providing a safe home for your children, it may be necessary to petition the court for custody. An unwed father may wish to petition the court for visitation rights, joint custody, or even sole custody if the mother is an unfit parent. If you are seeking custody to protect your child from domestic violence or child abuse, do not hesitate to contact our firm and get the help of a knowledgeable child custody lawyer in Jacksonville, FL.
Under state law, the welfare and support of the child is the responsibility of both parents. The courts encourage parenting plans that provide both parents with the greatest possible access to the children. In ruling on custody matters, the primary emphasis of the court is always the best interests of the child. Whether you are married or unmarried, facing divorce or seeking parental rights, our Jacksonville family law attorney can fight for your right to child custody.
Contact our firm for outstanding representation in family law matters. We offer free one-hour case consultations.