Jacksonville Child Custody Lawyer
Get Custody Help in Florida Today
- Why Hire My Firm?
- Nearly 30 Years Of Experience
- Board Certified in Marital & Family Law
- Experience in Military Divorce
- Certified Family Law Mediator
Charles E. Willmott, P.A. knows your children come first. That is why I offer my counsel and guidance during this precarious time.
Children are a precious and significant part of any family. In most divorce cases involving children, it is important that both parents maintain a high level of communication and relationship with their child.
How is Child Custody Determined in Florida?
When a court makes any decision regarding children, whether it is custody, support, or visitation, the determining factor should reflect the best interest of the child. Florida does not show any bias towards the gender of the parent and is not considered solely a "mother or father" state. As a child custody lawyer in Jacksonville, I am here to help you understand what courts use to decide the best interests of the child, as there are many factors that affect the determination of child custody. If the court grants sole custody, it is often given to the parent who is the most likely to allow the child a relationship and contact with the other parent.
- Other factors that are considered include:
- Who is the primary caretaker of the child and his / her activities
- Moral, mental and physical issues in regards to each parent
- The child's personal preference (if the child is old enough)
- Any instances of child abuse or domestic violence
Many courts desire that the divorcing couple work out these issues on their own prior to having court interference. It is my belief that parents should have the ability to make this decision, if they are able to come to a mutual agreement. For optimal results, it is beneficial to enlist the help of a board-certified Jacksonville child custody lawyer.
What is the Age That a Child Can Choose Which Parent to Live With in Florida?
While there are unique and rare circumstances in which the child may choose which parent to live with, most cases arrive at the same conclusion where the child may not have their choice until the age of 18. The court will always decide a case in which the best interests of the child are met.
Call (904) 849-5183 or email me today to schedule a free review of your child custody case. We offer remote video & Zoom conferences as well
How to Get Child Custody
When it comes to child custody, many parents do not have their child's interest in mind, but rather their own interest. Obtaining child custody in Florida is an entirely different process than in any other state. Florida law has changed from previous models toward one that stresses the importance of both parents sharing the responsibility for the child. This mutual responsibility refers to the sharing of responsibility by both parents to care for the needs of the child after divorce. This responsibility refers to providing for the child's needs and spending a substantial amount of time with him or her.
How to Prove a Parent Unfit
Before declaring your partner to be unfit, it is important that you are certain in your belief and have concrete evidence to support your claim. It is easy to lose yourself in the emotions from the stress of a divorce. Making any false or reckless accusations will cause more harm than good.
Here is the process by which a judge may rule a parent unfit:
1. Does the parent have a history of child abuse, domestic violence or substance abuse?
2. Does the parent suffer from a psychiatric illness that might pose a risk to the welfare of the child? The mental health of the parent does not automatically mean a reduction in parenting time or custody, but they must provide verification of treatment and management to show the court their efforts.
3. Does the parent have good communication between the children? It is important for both parents to encourage positive relations among each other.
4. Testimony from witnesses regarding your ex-spouse’s abusive behavior, it can be in the form of video or physical evidence.
If necessary, a judge may send a professional evaluator to conduct an investigation.
Determining a Timesharing Plan
When developing a timesharing plan, the court takes into consideration many factors concerning both the mother and father. Florida law is specific on how the plan is created because it strives to uphold the best interest of the child.
- The main considerations include:
- Parent's mental and physical well-being and health
- The distance of both parents from child's regular routine
- The distinct and unique needs of the child at that stage of life
- Willingness of each parent to be involved in child's life
- Parent's ability to encourage relationship of child with the other parent
- Parent's ability to make child's best interests first priority
- Any history of domestic abuse or neglect by a parent
If the child is of a mature age and intelligence, the court can take into consideration his or her personal preferences. There are many factors that must be considered when determining a timesharing plan and a child custody lawyer in Jacksonville can help you have them examined.
What can I do if my Ex-Spouse is Trying to Move with My Child?
If you are a non-custodial parent, you may have major concerns about your ex-spouse relocating – as they would be taking your child with them. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can petition for a modification before the move occurs. In doing so, you may be able to increase your involvement in the custody arrangement, which would effectively provide you with more of a say in the matter of your child's relocation. The court has the power to deny the other parent's relocation requests, as well, so you should not hesitate to organize a case.
Turn to A Board-Certified Child Custody Lawyer
At Charles E. Willmott, P.A., I have the credentials and experience to help you and your family make these important decisions concerning the protection of your child.
- I have more than nearly 30 years of experience helping clients with their child custody issues and disputes.
- I was a former social investigator for the 4th judicial circuit and as Master of Florida Family Law Inn of Court.
- I am board-certified in my field.
I can present your case to the court in a way that helps the judge understand what is in the best interest of your child. I spend a significant amount of time with clients when preparing a parenting plan in order to develop one that reflects the needs of the entire family. My experience as a Jacksonville divorce attorney gives me an advantage in your child custody case.
Enlist an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer
There are many types of custody offered and I believe that it is a lawyer's duty to inform individuals of all the options available to them. My firm was founded on family values and I am committed to helping people deal with their difficult situations. I take great care when helping families through child custody issues and have the credentials to help you obtain custody of your child if that is in the child's best interest. For over nearly 30 years, my philosophy as a child custody lawyer in Jacksonville, FL has been to care for the client as if their family were my own. I take to heart the cases I work on and fight them as if they were my own.
I can work closely with you to help you craft a parenting plan and child custody agreement that works for each member of your family. When the road seems gloomy and confusing, it is important to remember that an efficient and experienced lawyer can help you craft a resolution that enables the family to salvage the good in their relationships. My office represents all individuals from different backgrounds who are trying to develop a plan that includes the sharing of children after a divorce.
Contact my office at (904) 849-5183 to begin the process of developing a peaceable settlement. Contact a seasoned child custody lawyer in Jacksonville, FL today!