Child Custody Law in Jacksonville, Florida

Duval County, Florida Clerk of the Circuit and County Court, Family Law Division is responsible for the review, processing, computer data entry and scheduling of legal documents pertaining to child custody. Family law includes dissolution, legal separations, adoptions, emancipation, and proceedings to terminate parental rights.

Family Court Services
Duval County Unified Courthouse
501 West Adams Street, Room 2150
Jacksonville, FL 32202
phone: (904) 255-1060
fax: (904) 255-1054

Chapter 2008-61, Laws of Florida, effective October 1, 2008, eliminated such terms as custodial parent, noncustodial parent, primary residential parent, secondary residential parent, and visitation from Chapter 61, Florida Statutes. Instead, parents are to develop a Parenting Plan that includes, among other things, their time-sharing schedule with the minor child(ren). If the parents cannot agree, a parenting plan will be established by the Court. However, because the UCCJEA uses the terms custody and visitation, they are included in this form.

Child custody attorneys handle family law involving minor children. Minors are legally defined in Florida law as a child under the age of eighteen. Custody disputes will typically arise when a child’s parents cannot agree to the custody of their child following a divorce or even a child out of wedlock. The family law courts help make a determination they base on the best interests of the child. Child custody lawyers can help their clients protect their rights to custody of their children.

• Legal custody: makes decisions for children about education, medical issues, and discipline.

• Physical custody: where the child will live.

Sole custody occurs when one person (usually a parent, but could be another family member, or responsible adult) is awarded by the court, the full legal and physical custody of the child. Joint custody is when parents share the legal and physical custody of the children.