Child Custody Attorneys Jacksonville

Who gets custody and why?

The care, welfare, and interests of your children is of primary importance in restoring stability to your lives when you, the parents, are in the process of divorce.  Our husband-wife legal team, Thomas D. Treece and Debra Crews Treece, will work very closely with you to develop the best strategy to establish:

  • Parental Responsibility (Custody);
  • Timeshare (Visitation); and
  • Parenting Plan (Custody Document).

We will evaluate your case based on the facts and applicable law to advise you regarding the following:

  • Type of custody;
  • The legal factors upon which the Courts rely in making these determinations;
  • The basis for establishing Timeshare; and
  • The personal and legal options available to you in devising the Parenting Plan which must reflect the “best interests” of your children.

The care, welfare, and interests of your children is of primary importance in restoring stability to your lives when you, the parents, are in the process of divorce.

What are the types of Parental Responsibility/Custody?

  1. Shared Parental Responsibility
    The most commonly applied designation where both parents confer with each other and make decisions together regarding the health, safety, maintenance, and general welfare of their child/ren.
  2. Shared Responsibility
    While the parents still confer regarding the major decisions, one parent is designated to have the ultimate authority to make certain decisions in specific areas, such as health care or education.
  3. Sole Parental Responsibility
    The least likely because of the heavy burden of proof regarding the “best interests” of the child/ren, where one parent is designated to make all of the major decisions regarding the child without the consent of the other.

What is Timeshare?

The Florida Statutes provide guidance for establishing the time each parent shall have residing with their child/ren. The concept has changed from “visitation” to “Timesharing” to promote meaningful time for the parent-child relationship while living in each parent’s home. This may involve one parent having more than 50% of the time with the children (Majority Timeshare) or the parents having equal (50/50) time with the children.

What is the Parenting Plan?

The Parenting Plan is a legal document that formally addresses how the parents will share in the responsibilities for caring for their minor children in regard to their health, safety, maintenance, and welfare.

A Parenting Plan includes specific choices for:

  • Educational programs and school;
  • Health care and procedures;
  • Religious preference;
  • Choices concerning the child’s social life;
  • Extracurricular activities;
  • Management and Scheduling of Timeshare, including the specific holidays, special events, winter, spring, and summer vacations; and
  • Issues unique to the particular needs of the family.

It is vital that your Parenting Plan carefully reflects the legal criteria required to determine what is in the “best interests” of your child.

What are the Legal Factors in making the Parental Responsibility Determinations?

There are many factors outlined in the Florida Statutes the Courts rely on in determining parental responsibility and establishing timeshare.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Custody

Please carefully review the following questions prior to our first consult to help you define the issues relating to your specific family matter.

  1. Regarding Child Custody, which is now referred to as Shared Parental Responsibility with Timeshare allocation, how is it established?
  2. How will our children have “reasonable time” with each parent? How will we determine the timeshare when we have complicated and demanding work schedules?
  3. How will the choices for the specific educational programs or schools, the extra-curricular activities, the religious preferences and many other critical determinations be made for our children now that we are living in separate households?
  4. Who will make the “rules and regulations” for our children? How will the rules be enforced if one parent does not comply? What is the process for contempt of court and the potential punishment if one fails to comply with the court order?

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding The Emotional Welfare of The Children:

  1. How will our children adjust to our new lifestyles, now separate and apart?
  2. How much? and when? do we tell our children about the Separation, the Divorce and the Issues?
  3. Do we need a counselor to address special issues or problems with our children?
  4. If I think I am the better parent to have custody/control of the children, what are the criteria the Court utilizes to make that determination?
  5. How does the Court determine the “best interests” of the children?
  6. If the other parent interferes with my Timesharing with our children, what can I do to remedy the situation? How can I enforce my rights?
  7. How do we resolve relocation issues? What criteria does the Court consider when one parent wants to leave the State of Florida?

Frequently Asked Questions by Military Parents:

  1. As a Military Parent, how can I participate in a meaningful parental responsibility plan? How do I overcome the obstacles of deployment?
  2. How can I continue to have close communication with our children on a frequent and regular basis, especially when I am deployed?
  3. It is very important to my parents and family that they have contact with our children while I am deployed. Can I include the Grandparents or other Family Members in my Timeshare?
  4. Can I include in our Parenting Plan specific techniques or methods for communication through computer (skype) and a specific schedule for its implementation ordered by the Court?

Contact clause

If you are seeking an informed analysis of your family situation, advice regarding your legal rights, and guidance resolving these issues, please contact Treece & Treece at (904) 737-1771 or email us at to schedule a consultation.

We serve clients in Jacksonville, Duval County, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, St. John’s County, Fernandina, Yulee, Amelia Island, Nassau County; MacClenny, Glen St. Mary, Sanderson, Taylor, Baker County, Green Cove Springs, Kingsley Lake, Clay County, Starke, and Bradford County.