John Norfleet, a 31-year-old Jacksonville area resident, is currently facing charges of aggravated child abuse and murder in the aftermath of the death of his four-year-old daughter, Jada. But an aspect that makes the story particularly tragic is the fact that Norfleet was awarded custody of Jada and her older sister barely three years ago during the divorce process with his ex-wife.
Norfleet filed for divorce in 2012, filling out a dissolution of marriage with dependents form with the Monroe County court system. More than a year later, court motions over child support began to come into the picture. While a lot of the documents containing information from the divorce are heavily redacted, part of the reason for the divorce seems to be that Norfleet’s wife did not wish to work to salvage the marriage.
Norfleet remarried his current wife, Shavonn, and had another child with her. They moved in together into an apartment on the south side of Jacksonville, which is where, according to police records, Jada was fatally beaten with a piece of lumber on January 30 of this year.
It is unclear whether Norfleet had a history of child abuse before this incident. However, courts take great cares to avoid placing children in homes with potentially abusive parents. When you believe that the other parent of your children is being verbally, emotionally or physically abusive, it is extremely important that you work to modify the terms of the child custody arrangement that you established in your divorce.
For more information about modifying child custody arrangements, speak to a trusted team of Jacksonville family law attorneys.
Attorney Andrea Jevic contributed to this blog post.