Primary Child Custody Lawyers in Jacksonville, FL
Florida Primary Child Custody
As a loving parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. You also want to maintain a close relationship with him/her and play a huge part in his/her life as s/he grows up. However, you fear that your impending divorce will affect your connection with your child, for the worse. You have so many questions in mind, such as:
- Where will my child live?
- How much time will I be able to spend with him/her?
- What will my visitation schedule be like?
- How much of a part will I have in making decisions for my child?
The distress you are feeling is common to your situation – child custody being one of most emotional and contentious subjects in a divorce. The best way to get peace of mind is to consult with an experienced Jacksonville family law attorney who has the knowledge and experience to best represent your interests during the divorce proceedings.
At Farah & Farah, we understand just how much your son or daughter means to you, which is why we will focus on your unique needs in order to work toward a fair resolution of your child custody and visitation issues, among other concerns, while protecting your family’s privacy. If you have any specific questions regarding your case, feel free to call us today at (904) 263-4610 for immediate assistance.
What Is Shared Parental Responsibility versus Sole Parental Responsibility in Florida?
Under Florida law, the terms "custody," "custodial," "primary residence," and the like are not proper terms although they are commonly used by the public. Rather, the Court considers two initial options when deciding child custody issues: "Shared Parental Responsibility" and "Sole Parental Responsibility".
When both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and work with one another to make major decisions affecting their child’s welfare, this is known as shared parental responsibility. Shared parenting does not necessarily mean 50/50 custody; it only means that both parents, rather than the court, establish their rights and responsibilities.
Since the court generally prefers shared parental responsibility, sole parental responsibility, also known as primary custody, is usually only granted in cases where one parent is deemed unfit to raise the child. In other words, one guardian may be awarded custody of the child only if shared responsibility would be detrimental to the child.
What Makes a Parent Unfit in Florida?
In Florida, there are certain grounds upon which the court might deem a parent unfit, including, but not limited to, the following:
- The parent’s conduct threatens the life, safety, well-being, or physical, mental or emotional health of the child.
- The parent is incarcerated in a state or federal correctional institution for serious charges, usually violent or sexual in nature.
- The parent has subjected the child to aggravated child abuse, sexual battery or abuse, or chronic abuse.
- The parent has a history of extensive, abusive, and chronic alcohol or drug abuse which renders him/her incapable of caring for the child.
To gain sole responsibility, you must be able to provide evidence of the other parent’s unfitness. Evidence admissible in court includes photographs, video, and audio files of physical or verbal abuse, medical files of injuries, the parent’s criminal record, and other documents.
Contact Our Office for More Information
To schedule a free case review with one of our dedicated legal staff today, call our office at (904) 263-4610 or submit an online contact form and we will get back to you in prompt fashion.