Child Custody

What you Need to Know About Child Custody in Jacksonville, Florida! 

Child custody is a legal term that describes the maintenance, care, and control of a minor child. Usually, this is settled during divorce proceedings, but a family law attorney may also file motions for this type of court order if the parents of a child were never married in the first place, or in situations where paternity is being established.

Child custody is regulated by state and federal law, and in Florida, the courts determine who gets custody during a divorce, who pays what amount of child support, and other important decisions relating to any minor children. According to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and state law, the best interests of the child must be given the highest priority.


There are Different Types of Custody.

  • Legal– This type of custody refers to decision making. A parent with legal custody can make medical, educational, disciplinary, and religious decisions on behalf of the child.
  • Physical– This refers to where the child physically resides and who physically cares for the child on a primary basis.
  • Joint-In this arrangement both parents share physical and legal responsibilities, making decisions together in the best interests of the child and sharing time with the children.
  • Sole– In this scenario, only one parent has the authority to make decisions and take physical responsibility for the child.

Child Custody and Child Support

In Jacksonville, Florida the child custody laws include child support guidelines, and these must be followed when setting an amount to be paid. The amount of support set will be determined by the number of children, the age of the children, the specific situation and circumstances,  the income of both parents, and other relevant factors.

Child support must usually be paid until the minor child graduates from high school or reaches 19 years of age, whichever comes first. A family law attorney can motion the court to change the amount of child support set if the circumstances change, such as an increase or decrease in income for one parent. Any child support that has not been paid since the separation may be ordered by the court to be re-paid, this is also known as arrears.

What Not to Do During a Custody Dispute!

  • Do not argue with the other parent, especially in front of the kids, or bad mouth the other parent to the children.
  • Keep new partners away from the children, Introducing someone new while your divorce or custody battle is ongoing, and even for a period afterward, can increase the level of drama and call your judgment into question.
  • Do not change the regular routine of the child if this can be avoided. Divorce is stressful enough for kids without avoidable changes to their routine.
  • Follow all court orders. Do not deny your ex visitation, neglect to send child support, get physical with the other parent, or take the children outside of the area specified by the court without permission from the other parent and the court.

If you are considering divorce or are engaged in a custody dispute then you need a family law lawyer on your side. Someone like Adam Sacks, at the Sacks and Sacks Family Law Firm who has the knowledge and experience needed to look out for you and your children. Call us today at (904) 396-5557 for a free consultation.


“The Basics of Florida Child Custody Law.” Accessed 9 August 2020.

Edward J. Jennings, P.A. “Five Surprising Reasons a Parent May Lose Custody in Florida.” ejj-law.com  Accessed 9 August 2020.

Sacks and Sacks Law
1646 Emerson St. Suite B Jacksonville, FL 32207

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