Jacksonville Child Custody Lawyer

Get Custody Help in Florida Today

  • Why Hire My Firm?
  • Nearly 25 Years Of Experience
  • Board Certified in Marital & Family Law
  • Experience in Military Divorce
  • Certified Family Law Mediator

Blonde child in red coat and jeans taking a walk on the grass with a parentCharles 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.

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.

  • 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?

Regardless of how the parents or the court decide to split time with the child, the child's opinion will play a role in the final time-sharing decision when they are of a certain age. Under Florida law, if the child possesses enough intelligence, understanding, and experience to be able to say what they would prefer, the court will give reasonable preference to their wishes. Unless the court feels that living with the chosen parent will not provide the best environment for the child, they can defer to the child's preference.

Courts are primarily concerned with making the best decision for the child. Since children are not legally eligible to make this choice, the court cannot allow the child to make these decisions on their own. Even if a child decides they should be able to make a decision as to where they live, the court and the parents who have the best indication of the child's needs will be the final authority.

Call (904) 849-5183 or email me today to schedule a free review of your child custody case.

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.

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 25 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 25 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.

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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!

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