Going through a divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. The situation becomes even more emotional and complex when there are children involved. Everyone wants the best custody arrangement for your children’s well-being. Many times, however, both parents don’t agree on what that is. Be sure to seek counsel from an experienced divorce attorney in Jacksonville to prevent your ex from getting sole custody.

Types of Custody

It’s helpful to first understand the different types of custody, also known as time sharing, in the state of Florida.

Physical custody is when the court grants a parent the right for the child to live in his or her home. Parents can share physical custody in Florida, meaning the child spends significant time in each parent’s home. This joint physical custody is only feasible if both parents live in the same area, as excessive travel would be too burdensome for the child. Sole physical custody is granted to one parent in these cases, with the other parent typically having visitation rights.

Legal custody is the authority the court grants parents to make decisions about the child’s upbringing. This includes decisions regarding the child’s health care and education. Florida courts usually grant joint legal custody. This means both parents will need to come together to make important decisions about their child’s well-being. It’s helpful to contact a divorce attorney in Jacksonville when parents can’t cooperate.

Sole custody may be awarded when the court deems one parent unfit to raise the child. This may be due to one parent’s problems with drugs or alcohol, domestic violence or financial instability. A court may grant sole physical custody or sole legal custody based on the factors involved in your specific case.

Prevent Your Ex from Getting Sole Custody

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of custody in Florida, let’s focus on sole custody. Your ex will have to prove that time with you will be detrimental to your child’s well-being to receive sole custody. So, he or she must convince the court that it will be unhealthy for the child to spend time with you. For sole legal custody, they must also convince the court that you’re incapable of making decisions that are in the best interest of the child.

A divorce attorney in Jacksonville can help you fight this legal battle if your ex is aiming for sole custody. Here’s how you can be prepared to fight back.

  1. Show that you can provide a safe home for your child. Demonstrate to the court that your child will be safe when in your care. Begin by addressing any past issues including substance abuse, domestic violence or other problems. Show evidence that you have worked to resolve those issues. You must also show that your home is a physically safe environment for the child.
  2. Demonstrate that you can meet your child’s needs. Show that you are both mentally and physically competent. Prove that you’ll have no issues meeting your child’s emotional and physical needs if they are in your care. Become involved in your child’s life and be familiar with their activities, friends and school. The court wants what is best for your child, so demonstrate that you will provide a safe, stable environment for him or her.
  3. Keep communication with your ex civil. It’s critical to be able to communicate with your ex if you hope to share custody. Always keep your interactions civil and avoid becoming angry or negative in tone. Show that you want to work together to meet the best interests of your child.

Contact a Divorce Attorney in Jacksonville

Child custody can be a very difficult situation. You don’t want to try to navigate this legal battle on your own. For family law experts you can trust, contact the offices of Patricia L. Parker at 904-479-5455.


Practice Areas

• Divorce
• Custody/Timesharing
• Alimony
• Child Support
• Division of Assets/Liabilities
• Paternity
• Department of Revenue

• Modification
• Relocation
• Contempt
• Enforcement
• Department of Children and Families
• Guardian/Attorney Ad-Litem
• Domestic Violence

Office Hours

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Law Offices of Patricia L. Parker © 2017 All rights reserved.

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