Jax was originally from Australia, but he and his family moved to Alaska. When Lois Ashton needed a corporate raider to get her company back from Edward Quartermaine, she went to Jax. Jax immediately became interested in Lois, but she was happily married to Ned, so she introduced to him to Brenda Barrett. Brenda wanted Jax to help make Sonny jealous, and Jax went along with it as a way to spend time with Brenda. The two became attracted to each other; the only problem was that Brenda was still in love with Sonny. Jax proposed to Brenda, and she accepted, having realized there was no hope left for her and Sonny.
Jax and Brenda married on his private yacht, and when they returned to Port Charles, they planned to renew their vows in a ceremony at the Quartermaine mansion. Jax secretly was working with Tracy Quartermaine to take over ELQ. That secret was revealed, and Jax backed off on working with Tracy. On the day that Jax and Brenda were to renew their vows, Brenda realized that she truly loved Jax and that he was the one she belonged with.
Unfortunately, Sonny showed up at the wedding with Jax's presumed dead wife, Miranda, to confront Jax. Jax had assumed that Miranda had died when she was in a building that had been bombed, but Jax's parents had known the truth. Miranda's face had been badly disfigured after the explosion; Miranda hadn't wanted to burden Jax, so she had let him think she was dead. Jax was torn between Miranda and Brenda, but realized he was in love with Brenda. However, Brenda had decided to reunite with Sonny.
When Sonny left Brenda at the altar, Jax was there by Brenda's side. Eventually, he and Brenda became engaged. Jax lost Brenda again when her mother, who was mentally ill, drove both Brenda and herself over a cliff, killing them both. The day of Brenda's funeral, Jax was arrested, along with the rest of his family. Jax's father and brother had started their company with money they had received from the mob. Jax lost everything, but he did not let that get him down. With the help of his friends, V, Ned, and Alexis, Jax managed to win a large sum of money in Monte Carlo, and started to rebuild his empire.
The night of A.J. and Carly's engagement party, Jax met Chloe Morgan, and the two immediately hit it off. When a ballroom dance act didn't show up to perform at the Nurses Ball, Jax and Chloe stepped in and delighted the audience. Then Chloe got a call from her business manager reminding her that if she were not married in a month, she would lose her company. Ned stepped in and asked Chloe to marry him; Chloe agreed. So Ned and Chloe, along with Jax and Alexis, flew to Vegas. The only problem was that Chloe's Aunt Gertrude showed up, and claimed that the Vegas wedding did not comply with the legal definition of "happily married," as it was stated in the will. So to cover the whole thing up, Jax and Alexis married instead.
To make it appear that Ned and Chloe's impending marriage was real, Jax and Alexis needed to make it appear as though their marriage was also real. They even went as far as to move Alexis into his penthouse. Alexis and Jax became good friends while they were married, but his heart belonged to Chloe Morgan. After a romantic courtship, they proclaimed their love. Shortly after, a vehicle struck Chloe in a hit-and-run attack that was meant for Alexis. Helena had meant to kill Alexis, thinking she knew about Lucky Spencer's kidnapping. Chloe was rendered blind from her injuries, but surgery restored her sight. When the mixed pairs divorced after Gertrude caught Jax and Chloe together, Jax moved Chloe into his penthouse and took over Gertrude's company, allowing Chloe to design under her own name again.
Unfortunately, it was learned that Chloe had a rapidly growing tumor near her optic nerve. Jax nurtured Chloe through her illness and intended to marry her. Knowing that Chloe was in need of medication, Helena bought the drug company that manufactured it in an attempt to blackmail Jax into bed. Jax pretended to take the bait and then swiftly tied Helena up and electronically purchased the drug company. He then left with the drug sample that Helena had in her possession. Helena was impressed but unapologetic. When Chloe began having visions of how Helena had killed Stefan, Jax took her away on a tropical vacation. Helena followed them and attempted to kill Chloe. She was unsuccessful and escaped without detection.
One day, Jax spotted a picture in a magazine of someone who appeared to be Brenda. Unbeknownst to Jax, it was a setup by Stefan Cassadine to force Jax to leave Chloe. After Jax did, Stefan planned to kidnap Chloe and use her psychic abilities from her brain tumor to take down his mother, Helena Cassadine. The plan worked beautifully, and Jax broke Chloe's heart to leave Port Charles and go off in search of his former love.
While searching for Brenda, Jax hired and had an affair with professional tracker Angel Ellis. Angel introduced Jax to Kristina Carter, who had hired Angel to find her sister. Jax realized that Kristina and his ex-wife, Alexis Davis, were sisters, so Jax took Kristina to Port Charles. There, Jax dealt with his sudden desertion of Chloe Morgan. After he filled Chloe in on the truth surrounding his abrupt desertion of her, she wanted nothing to do with him, and he realized that he wanted more for her than he could give her. But he remained protective of her. When Chloe was murdered, Jax firmly believed Stefan Cassadine was the murderer. However, to protect Kristina and Alexis, Jax joined forces with the "good" Cassadines to take down the "bad" Cassadines.
After Helena and Stavros were dealt with, Jax, who had been buying up huge amounts of Cassadine properties, sold them back at his cost to the Cassadine estate. He then turned his attention to the ruination of the Quartermaines. With the assistance of Skye and A.J. Quartermaine, Jax obtained controlling interest in ELQ. Finally, Jax had to deal with his longtime nemesis, Sonny Corinthos. Jax decided to back Carly, Sonny's ex-wife, in her new club venture. He also was able to obtain condemnation notices on most of Sonny's properties in Port Charles. But while Jax toppled financial empires, he began to fall for Skye Chandler-Quartermaine.
Jax initially disliked Skye, although that didn't stop Skye from trying to get Jax to help her go after Sonny. He refused and continually tried to warn her away from getting entangled with Sonny. Sexual tension slowly developed between them despite repeated arguments and setbacks in their growing partnership. When he suspected her of developing feelings for him, Jax informed Skye that he didn't feel capable of ever falling in love again. She took that as a challenge and continually found ways to get Jax to go to her aid by pretending to be a damsel in distress.
However, her plans nearly backfired when she got locked in the boathouse for real. Believing that no one would arrive to find her, including Jax, whom she'd recently argued with, she swam for shore. Jax discovered her half-frozen on the shore and took her to the lake house to care for her. He used body heat to warm her, and they made love.
When A.J. ran off with Courtney, Skye implored Jax to help her get to A.J. before Sonny could. But they were too late, although no harm befell A.J. at that point. Jax and Sonny soon found themselves distracted by Carly's sudden disappearance and possible death when her car ran off a cliff. When Jax wanted to shut down Carly's club, Skye told him that Carly would rather it be kept open and that it would be a way to keep her spirit alive. When Carly was discovered to be alive, Skye speculated that Carly had faked the accident. Jax began to believe Skye and confronted Carly about it. She vehemently denied it and told Jax not to contact her until he remembered how to be a friend.
Sonny and Carly reunited quickly after her accident, but Carly remained jealous of Alexis' connection with Sonny. She used money from her club with Jax to pay Alexis' former boss to hire Alexis and get her out of town. Jax discovered the missing money and went to Sonny, accusing Carly of embezzling from the club. To keep Jax from going to the cops, Carly was forced to give up her share of the club. Jax then gave the club to Skye.
However, Jax didn't realize that Skye was double-crossing him with Edward in order to become the sole heir to the Quartermaine fortune. Edward played on Skye's insecurities regarding Jax's love and got her to agree to steal the map to the Jacks family oil wells. But someone got to the map first. When Edward threatened to reveal Skye's misdeeds to Jax, she fought Edward, and he had a stroke.
When Ned discovered Skye's contract with Edward, he forced her to tell Jax the truth. Jax felt very betrayed and coldly dumped her. However, when she got drunk, blacked out, and woke up to discover Edward's respirator unplugged, she feared the worst and went into hiding. Jax rescued her and eventually forgave her. They resumed their engagement and wedding plans.
On Jax and Skye's wedding night, a ghost from Jax's past revealed herself: a very much alive Brenda. She had survived the car crash and had been rescued by a passing ship. The owner of the ship, Luis Alcazar, had then kept her for himself for the previous four years, promising to keep her from hurting herself and her loved ones by keeping her away from Port Charles. But Brenda wanted to return to Port Charles to see those she loved one last time. She also wanted to leave Luis. Jax postponed his honeymoon with Skye to help protect Brenda from Luis. While doing so, Luis shot Jax, which left Jax paralyzed.
Feeling sorry for himself, Jax pushed Skye away. When she refused to leave him, Jax got Brenda to help him by pretending she was in love with him still. She also seemed to help him in his recovery. Skye was suspicious of Brenda and did some digging. She found out that Brenda wasn't actually dying of a mental illness, but she kept that fact to herself. When Jax found out on his own that Brenda wasn't dying, he confronted Skye, and she admitted knowing already. Jax dumped Skye for her games and her lies. Jax told Brenda that she wasn't dying, and they reunited.
On the night of Jax and Brenda's engagement party, thrown by the Quartermaines, Luis and Skye crashed the party, but their former lovers snubbed them. Later that evening, Luis was thrown off the balcony of his hotel suite to his death, and Brenda was one of the prime suspects, thanks in part to Skye's "eyewitness" account of the murder. Jax did everything he could to prevent Brenda from going to jail, including hiring Alexis to defend her and even confessing to the crime himself. Brenda was found guilty, along with Jason Morgan, and was sentenced to jail, but the real killer revealed evidence not known to anyone but the cops, and Brenda and Jason were released. Jason and Brenda got an annulment of their brief marriage of convenience, and Jax forged full steam ahead with his plans to marry Brenda.
However, when it came time for Jax to say, "I do," he said, "I don't," because he knew that Brenda had kissed Sonny the night before, and he couldn't marry someone who didn't love him completely. Humiliated, Brenda told him she didn't want to marry him, either, because he had hurt her so publicly. Jax tried to console his broken heart with random women, even call girls. This surprised Skye, who tried her best to console him, but he pushed her away. Although the romance was gone, Jax continued to help Skye out of the sticky situations she got herself into. When Skye and A.J. paired up to kidnap Kristina, Skye ended up confessing her misdeed to Jax. He promised to help her and even offered to whisk her out of town, giving her the wrong impression. Jax also tried to help Alexis by getting her a good defense attorney for her trial lawyer and trying to get Ned to let her see Kristina.
When Sonny began to suspect Jax of secretly partnering with Faith against him, Sonny taunted Jax to kill him at a warehouse. Jax called the cops instead. Later he convinced Jason that he would go after Sonny overtly without a partner. Jax rescued Skye once again when Tracy arrived in town with the juicy tidbit that Skye wasn't a Quartermaine after all. Jax tried to charm Tracy to tell the truth, which earned him a slap from Skye for enjoying his work a little too much. Jax tried to rescue Skye one last time by persuading Ned to offer her a job at ELQ, but she inadvertently sabotaged it. Later she thanked Jax for his help and wished that they could recapture what they'd once had. She tried to persuade him to have a baby with her, but he turned her down and left town for a while.
Jax returned in October 2003, hot on the trail of the Dead Man's Hand, which were the five cards that Wild Bill Hickok had held in his last hand of poker the night he had been shot dead. Jax was after the cards because his father had maintained possession of them for the greater part of his life and believed them to be his lucky charm. But someone had stolen the cards from John, and he had subsequently lost the will to live without the cards. So Jax began the search for the missing cards. Along the way, he ran into a tough brunette named Samantha McCall. Sam also wanted the cards, but for the opposite reason. Her family had also had possession of the cards at one time and considered them to be the cause of a string of bad luck. So Sam wanted to find the cards and destroy them.
Together, Jax and Sam figured out that someone from Port Charles had stolen the cards. Once they were in Port Charles, they narrowed their search to A.J. Quartermaine, who had possession of four of the cards and swiftly figured out that Sam and Jax knew something about the last card. Caught sneaking into the Quartermaine mansion, Jax and Sam were forced to pretend to be a couple. Sam nearly blew their cover by going on to claim to be an heiress, which was far from the truth. Jax made a bet with Sam, with the cards as the prize, that she couldn't convince anyone that she was an heiress. Of course, she lost. The two constantly fought over the few cards in their possession as the sexual tension between them continually built up. Jax thought he had finally gotten the cards when Luke auctioned them off at a Halloween party, but shortly after Jax wired the money to Luke, the auction crowd was gassed and a mystery person stole the cards.
The thief turned out to be one of Sam's former lovers who tried to bargain one night of sex with her for the cards. Jax finally obtained the cards once and for all and headed off to show them to his father. Sam managed to stow away in his car and persuaded him to let her test the true luck of the cards at a casino along the way. The pair also finally gave in to their passion and made love. Jax finally made it to his father's deathbed, but just as he was about to show John the cards, John breathed his last breath and died.
Devastated, Jax pushed Sam away, blaming her for making him waste time in getting the cards to his father. Jax had also discovered that Sam had rigged his rental car to break down. To get revenge, he paired up with Tracy Quartermaine, who had recently returned to town, to use Sam and get the cards back to open a new casino. But it quickly became a question of who was double-crossing whom as Sam agreed to screw over Jax and get the cards to Luke so that he could open a casino on the newly returned Haunted Star ship.
Although Sam had entered into a relationship with Sonny, Jax and Sam found comfort in each other's arms when they were trapped together in the Port Charles hotel fire. Sam and Jax both made it out of the fire unharmed, and Jax promised Sam he would not tell Sonny they had slept together.
Jax was blackmailed into a brief engagement to Tracy Quartermaine. Tracy took pictures that could incriminate Skye in the death of Detective Ross Duncan. Tracy would not share the photos if Jax agreed to marry her. A few days later, Jax ended his deal with Tracy when he learned Sam was pregnant. Jax decided to focus on the paternity of Sam's baby, as either he or Sonny could be the baby's father.
Sonny's sister, Courtney Matthews, created a foundation for underprivileged children, and Jax became her major financial backer. Jax respected Courtney's decision to avoid financing her foundation with Sonny or Jason's mob money. Jax had just learned he was not the father of Sam's baby. Courtney and Jax bonded over their longing to have a child. Jax lightened the mood by asking Courtney to accompany him on a gambling trip to Monte Carlo. Jax promised Courtney ten million dollars for her foundation if she could resist sleeping with him for three months. Courtney accepted the challenge.
The flirtation between Jax and Courtney continued, and they dated each other exclusively. Their relationship quickly became serious when they openly discussed their desire to have a family, which prompted Courtney to escape to Sonny's private island. She was afraid to fall in love again. Jax surprised her on the trip, and they almost slept together, until a snake interrupted them. Courtney used the interruption to gather her thoughts, and she hid from Jax until the three-month time limit expired. Then they became lovers.
Jax began another business venture by putting up a new hotel to replace the Port Charles Hotel, which had burned down. Jax tried to impress Courtney by naming his new hotel the Metro Court after her, and he hosted a masquerade ball for the hotel's opening on December 31, 2004. Shortly after, Jax proposed to Courtney, much to the dismay of both his mother and her father. Lady Jane believed Courtney was still in love with her ex-husband, Jason, and Courtney's father, Mike, believed Jax was using Courtney to aggravate Sonny.
Despite parental disapproval, Jax and Courtney became engaged, and Jax stood by Courtney when she was a suspect in the murder of her ex-husband, A.J. Quartermaine. Courtney was no longer a suspect when A.J. returned to Port Charles, very much alive, and Jax and Courtney continued to plan their wedding. The week before the wedding, Jax assured Courtney he still wanted to marry her despite the medical confirmation she could not carry a child. Jax's mother and Carly each tried to stop the wedding with claims that Courtney still loved Jason, but Jax and Courtney were married on June 3, 2005.
Elizabeth Webber offered to donate her eggs and be Courtney and Jax's surrogate in exchange for money to pay off Lucky's medical bills. Jax became over-protective of Elizabeth and bonded with her while Courtney felt left out of the pregnancy. Courtney leaned on Nikolas Cassadine, and they exchanged a kiss. Nikolas's wife, Emily, saw Nikolas and Courtney clad only in robes and assumed they had slept together. Courtney explained to Jax that she and Nikolas had been caught in the rain. Jax ordered Courtney to move out when she admitted she had kissed Nikolas. Jax made plans to raise the baby Elizabeth was carrying on his own.
Elizabeth was not comfortable with Jax raising the baby without a mother. Jax decided to pretend to forgive Courtney and remain married to her until after the baby was born. Then he planned to divorce Courtney and secure full custody of the child. Courtney learned of Jax's plan and left him to be with Nikolas.
Jax and Elizabeth agreed to share custody of the child, but it was a moot point. Elizabeth suffered a miscarriage. Soon after, Courtney discovered she was pregnant. Courtney hoped Nikolas was the baby's father, but she knew Jax could also be the father, and she decided to have a paternity test. Jax arranged for the paternity test to show he was the father. Jax tried to convince Courtney to reconcile with him for the sake of the baby, but Courtney remained with Nikolas, the man she claimed she truly loved. Jax attempted to break up Nikolas and Courtney by trying to reunite Nikolas and his ex-wife, Emily, but the attempts did not work.
Luke Spencer discovered Jax had altered Courtney's paternity test, and he blackmailed Jax into selling half of the Metro Court to Luke's niece, Carly Corinthos. Courtney and Nikolas suspected Jax had altered the first paternity test, and they confronted him. Jax admitted he had made sure the test showed him as the father in order to protect the child from Nikolas' grandmother, Helena Cassadine. Courtney and Nikolas secretly planned another test, which Jax managed to alter again. Courtney planned to divorce Jax and marry Nikolas, but she left town to contemplate what would be best for her baby.
Courtney returned to Port Charles, infected with a deadly encephalitis virus. She gave birth to a son, and Jax confessed to Courtney that Nikolas was the baby's father. Jax promised Courtney he would tell Nikolas the truth. Courtney died before she could tell Nikolas the news, and Jax broke his promise to Courtney. He claimed the baby as his own and named the baby John after his own father. As Courtney's closest friend, Carly wanted to watch over Courtney's son. Jax and Carly bonded while they cared for John and soon developed feelings for each other. Jax proved he trusted Carly when he appointed Carly as John's legal guardian in the event of Jax's death.
John's true paternity was almost revealed when a lab technician blackmailed Jax for two million dollars to keep the paternity a secret. Carly learned the truth about what Jax had done, but she agreed to keep the secret. Jax took Carly and her two sons with him to Australia to introduce his mother to John. While they were gone, Courtney's doctor prepared to retire with a clean conscious, and she passed the real results of John's paternity to Robin Scorpio. At John's christening, Robin revealed the real paternity, and Nikolas claimed his son.
Jax was heartbroken when Nikolas was reunited with his son. Jax planned to join his brother, Jerry, in Africa. Carly tried to convince Jax to stay, and she professed her love for him, but he still left. Jax reunited with Carly when his mother intervened. Lady Jane convinced Carly that Jax was in danger, and Carly showed up to rescue Jax. When Carly found Jax in a hotel with a beautiful woman, she told Jax she was finished with him. Jax realized he loved Carly and returned to Port Charles, determined to win her back.
Carly and Jax became engaged in October of 2006, and they planned to marry one month later on November 16. Instead, they postponed their wedding and gave that date to Luke and Laura Spencer for their wedding. Jax and Carly planned to marry on New Year's Eve instead. Jax left town prior to the wedding to help Jerry and didn't return in time for the wedding. While Jax was out of town, Carly saw Sonny shoot Lorenzo Alcazar. Carly was forced to marry Sonny so she could not testify against him.
Carly was trapped with Sonny in the Metro Court hostage crisis, and they slept together. Carly was torn between Jax and Sonny. Eventually, Carly chose Jax, and on April 13, 2007, they became engaged again. Carly divorced Sonny, and she and Jax were married two weeks later.
Jax and Carly's marriage did not begin smoothly. They discovered that Jerry was behind the Metro Court hostage crisis. Jax helped protect Jerry, and Jax asked Carly to protect Jerry as well. Then one of Jerry's jilted lovers, named Irina, kidnapped Jax. Eventually Jax escaped and was reunited with Carly, only to discover their nanny, Leticia, had been murdered, and the Text Message Killer was after Carly.
Carly survived the Text Message Killer and learned she was pregnant, while Jax reconnected with an old friend named Kate Howard. Kate was a magazine editor, and Jax became the major financial backer of Kate's new magazine, Crimson. Carly was jealous of Jax's friendship with Kate and asked Jax to back out of the magazine. He refused.
Carly suffered a miscarriage when she was involved in a warehouse explosion. Jax blamed Sonny's violent life for the loss of the child. Then Carly's son Michael was shot in the head while visiting one of Sonny's warehouses. Michael was deemed to be in a permanent coma. Jax supported Carly through her grief and convinced her to have Sonny sign away all parental rights to his children in order to keep them safe. Jax left for Rome to reconsider his marriage when Carly leaned on Sonny instead of him, but he returned shortly after to celebrate his first wedding anniversary.
Jax continued to be placed in the middle of Carly and Kate's arguments. Carly was jealous of Kate and Jax's friendship, and was bothered by Sonny and Kate's romantic relationship. Carly repeatedly sabotaged Crimson. Jax told Carly he was done with her because she could not leave Kate and the magazine alone. Jax took Carly back when he realized Kate had sabotaged Crimson herself to make Carly look guilty. Jax rejected Carly again when he learned Carly and Sonny had slept together after Michael was shot. Jax turned to Kate for a one-night stand.
Jax hired Alexis to represent him in his divorce from Carly, but he asked Alexis to drag out the divorce proceedings, unaware that Carly had asked her lawyer to do the same. Jax realized how much Carly meant to him when she was trapped inside the hospital when a deadly bio-toxin was released. Carly made it safely out, and she and Jax reunited. On March 18, 2009, they renewed their wedding vows. The same day, Jerry sent Jax a DVD that explained Jerry's role in Michael's shooting. Jax kept the contents of the DVD from Carly, and he left town to track down Jerry.
Carly became pregnant, and the pregnancy endangered her life. Carly had a rare blood disorder, and she and Jax disagreed about continuing the pregnancy. Jax wanted her to abort the pregnancy, but she refused. The doctor advised Jax to keep Carly's life as stress-free as possible. The biggest stress Carly faced was an experimental surgery that might reverse Michael's coma. Carly passed out during the surgery, and Jax removed Carly from Michael's bedside. When Michael emerged from his coma, he was angry Carly was not there. Michael's personality had changed, and he was prone to bouts of anger, generally directed at Carly. Jax and Carly disagreed on how to handle Michael's new personality.
Jax was more determined than ever to keep his family safe from Sonny's business. Jax discovered that Sonny's employee named Dominic was actually an undercover cop. Dominic's real name was Dante Falconeri. His mother, Olivia, worked for Jax and Carly at the Metro Court, and Olivia confided in Jax that Sonny was Dante's father. Jax helped Dante gather evidence against Sonny.
Carly made it through her high-risk pregnancy and went into labor at the Metro Court. Sonny's wife, Claudia, kidnapped Carly at gunpoint and took her hostage when Sonny publicly revealed Claudia's involvement in Michael's shooting. With Claudia's help, Carly gave birth at a remote cabin. Michael was the first to find Carly. When Michael entered the cabin, he saw Claudia holding Carly's baby and making plans to steal the newborn, so he killed Claudia. Sonny, Carly, and Jason covered up what Michael had done, and Jax went along with it.
Jax and Carly named their daughter Josslyn John. Although Jax's wife and new daughter had survived the ordeal with Claudia, Jax's marriage was under great strain. Carly was furious Jax had allowed Michael to become close to Claudia when he knew Claudia had been involved in Michael's shooting. Jax recorded a conversation with Sonny in which Sonny admitted to covering up and disposing of Claudia's body. When Jax realized sending Sonny to prison would end his marriage, he destroyed the tape to prevent Carly from ever finding out what he had tried to do to Sonny. However, Carly did find out Jax had worked with Dante to take down Sonny when Dante's identity as Sonny's son and an undercover cop was revealed.
Dante did not agree with plan to cover up Michael's role in Claudia's murder. Dante told the court what Michael had done, and Michael was sent to prison. Jax and Carly tried to reconcile, but Carly could not get past Jax's connections to the people that had hurt Michael. Although Jax and Carly planned to divorce, in May 2010, Carly asked Jax to legally adopt Morgan in order to protect Morgan from Sonny's world.
Jax still loved Carly, and he worked with his ex-wife Skye to make Carly jealous. Carly and Jax bantered flirtatiously and considered giving their marriage one more try until Carly admitted she and Sonny had slept together when Michael was sent to prison. Jax claimed he was ready to divorce Carly.
By September of 2010, Jax and Carly decided to give their marriage one more chance. Carly was upset when Jax put her nemesis, Brenda Barrett, on the cover of Crimson. Carly continued her fury when Brenda returned to Port Charles, and Jax advised Brenda not to get involved with Sonny.
Jax decided his marriage to Carly was truly over when she interrupted Sonny's wedding to Brenda. Jax realized he would never rank before Sonny and Jason in Carly's life. Jax decided to go after sole custody of Josslyn. He claimed Carly was unable to provide a safe environment for Josslyn due to her association with Sonny and Jason. The custody battle was set aside when Josslyn was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer. Josslyn received a kidney from Jason and Elizabeth's son Jake when Jake was killed in an accident.
Josslyn recovered, and the custody battle between Jax and Carly heated up when Jax took Josslyn home from the hospital. Jax maintained that his daughter would only be safe away from Sonny and Jason and he hired Alexis to represent him. Alexis agreed but she encouraged Jax to work out a joint custody agreement with Carly and warned him painting Carly as an unfit mother would be difficult. Carly petitioned for shared custody and Alexis believed the court might appreciate her willingness to compromise.
Jax remained adamant that Carly placed Josslyn in danger by allowing Sonny and Jason to have contact with her. He often discussed the custody case and the danger of Sonny's life with Brenda. He also spoke to Robin Scorpio-Drake and Olivia Falconeri about the custody case and asked them to testify against Carly. Neither woman agreed to testify that Carly was unfit so Jax tried another tactic.
Jax decided to show the court Carly's poor judgment in hiring a bodyguard named Shawn Butler. Carly believed Josslyn needed a bodyguard after she received a message from Franco inquiring about her daughter. Jax dug in to Shawn's past and discovered he had been dishonorably discharged from the military. Carly fired Shawn so he could not be used against her in court. Shawn confronted Jax over what he was putting Carly through and he punched him.
As the custody hearing drew near, Jax subpoenaed Sonny and Carly's children to testify about the danger they had been exposed to because of their association with Sonny. He also subpoenaed Brenda to testify about her experiences as Sonny's wife. Alexis believed Jax had gone too far by requiring the children to testify against Sonny and she removed herself as his legal counsel.
Despite losing his legal representation, Jax remained confident he would be granted sole custody. The court appointed mediator met with Carly and Jax prior to the custody hearing and the mediator recommended that Jax be granted full custody. The hearing in front of the judge also seemed to go Jax's way when Brenda testified about recent violence she had been subjected to via Sonny. When the hearing adjourned for the day, Jax started to make plans to take Josslyn to Australia after he was granted sole custody.
The court mediator paid Jax a visit in his hotel room and she drugged his drink. She tore her clothes and made a phone call to the police from inside the hotel bathroom and claimed Jax tried to assault her. The police arrived and found illegal drugs in the room and took the woman's statement. Jax was intoxicated when the police arrived and he was taken into custody. He claimed he was set up. Brenda visited Jax at the police department and promised to help him out of his predicament. Both Brenda and Jax were convinced Sonny set him up but they were unable to uncover any proof and Sonny refused to confess even to his wife.
Jax was released but the damage was done. His night in jail had made the news and the judge granted sole custody to Carly and Jax would only be allowed to see Josslyn at Carly's discretion after he passed a drug test. Jax was devastated by what had occurred and refused to discuss working out a compromise with Carly. Instead, Jax made plans to leave Port Charles. At the same time Brenda choose to leave Sonny and rebuild her life in Rome with her son. Jax escorted Brenda and her son to Rome on his private jet.
Brenda invited Jax to remain in Rome with her but he declined the offer and instead made plans to be with his daughter. He sneaked back to Port Charles and kidnapped Josslyn. His escape plans were thwarted when he experienced car troubles during a storm and he took Josslyn to Robin's house. Shawn knew Jax had Josslyn and tracked them to Robin's home. Jax realized it was not in Josslyn's best interest to go on the run with him and he allowed Shawn to take Josslyn home.
Sonny was also out to find Jax under the guise of returning Josslyn to Carly. Sonny blamed Jax for destroying his marriage to Brenda and he sabotaged Jax's plane to prevent him from taking off. Sonny confronted Jax at Robin's house but Jax was able to escape and made his way to the plane. Shortly after takeoff, the plane went down and Jax was presumed dead.
Jax's ex-wife Skye Quartermaine found him hidden on the pier in Port Charles and she agreed to help secretly disappear. As Jax waited for Skye to make the arrangements, he overheard Carly fondly reminisce about her life with Jax. While Jax remained in hiding, he overheard Carly denounce Sonny and she said she regretted not removing Sonny from her life sooner. After hearing Carly's statement against Sonny, Jax believed Carly would keep Josslyn safe and he left Port Charles.
Jax returned briefly to check on Josslyn a few months later. He stayed out of sight and watched her from a distance. Although he planned to keep his return a secret, he ran in to Michael in an alley and Jax provided Michael with advice when he saw that Michael had a gun. Michael told Jax about the recent death of his girlfriend Abby and the plan he had for revenge. Jax offered his condolences and implored Michael to keep his return a secret. Michael agreed. Before Jax disappeared again, he met with Kate at an airport bar and sold his shares of the Metro Court hotel to her.
Months later Jax appeared in Port Charles again after Carly notified him that Josslyn had been hospitalized. Someone had injected Josslyn and Alexis with an unknown substance that caused each of them to experience a dangerously high fever. By the time Jax arrived in town after a brief detainment in Shanghai both Alexis and Josslyn had recovered. Jax enjoyed a reunion with his daughter and Carly invited him to stay with her and Josslyn at the Metro Court. However, he was not pleased to learn that Carly had entered into a romantic relationship with Johnny Zacchara.
While Jax spent time with his family he wondered if one of his enemies had been behind the injections since he was the only apparent connection between Josslyn and Alexis. His suspicions were dismissed after Jerry took over local television access and announced that he and his accomplice had injected Alexis and Josslyn with an inoculation to protect them from what was to come. Jerry went on to explain that he had poisoned the water supply within the city and that anyone who had come in contact with the water would only have a few days to live unless they could afford to purchase the counteragent.
Jax was shocked to realize that his brother was still alive after he had been shot by the Balkan and thrown into the harbor but he promised Carly that he would do whatever it took to save her. Jax took off and confronted Jerry over what he had done. Jerry was surprised to see his brother and explained that he had never intended for Jax to get sick and had arranged for Jax to be detained in Shanghai. Jax tried to reason with his brother and begged him to release the counteragent that would save everyone. Jerry refused and was taken into police custody.
As the residents of Port Charles started to show signs of illness due to the toxin Jason suspected that Dr. Ewen Keenan was Jerry's accomplice. Jax recognized the name but could not remember why it held any significance. Jax visited Jerry at the police station and questioned why he would poison the town and ask for a ransom amount that represented the Dead Man's Hand. The brothers recalled the significance the cards had held to their father and how their father had spiraled into a deep depression and lost the will to live after the cards were stolen from him.
Jax accused Jerry of not being there for their father at the end and stated that he and Jerry could have worked together to return the cards to their father. Jerry revealed that not only had he visited their father, but he had watched Dr. Keenan kill him and did not stop him. Jerry also added that he had stolen the cards in the first place. After Jerry's confession Jax realized that the brother he had grown up with was gone and he would be unable to reason with him. He changed tactics and disarmed the police officer that was guarding Jerry and forced the officer to release Jerry from his cell. Jax hoped to hold Jerry and gunpoint and force him to hand the counteragent over.
The plan backfired when an associate of Jerry's appeared and attacked Jax. Jerry and his accomplice escaped while Jax met with a group of Port Charles most wealthy citizens. They decided to give Jerry the money he demanded in exchange for the counteragent. The group made plans to meet Jerry at a warehouse. Johnny was one of the wealthy citizens and as they waited Jax overheard him reveal that he was keeping a secret from Carly. Jax shared what he had heard about Johnny with Carly but the issues between Carly and Johnny were set aside when Jerry arrived with Alexis in tow.
Jerry's attempt to kidnap Alexis was thwarted and Port Charles was saved from the toxin. Jerry held a gun on Jax but Sonny shot Jerry and Jerry was presumed deceased in an explosion. Jax was heartbroken over the dark turn Jerry's life had taken, but he was relieved that his family and friends could no longer be harmed by Jerry. Jax spent a little more time in town with his daughter and he and Carly filed for a divorce. Jax warned Carly to be careful with Johnny and he wished her well before leaving town.
Jax paid Carly a visit a few months later and revealed that their divorce had never been finalized due to a filing error. Jax explained that he needed Carly to sign another set of divorce papers so he was free to marry his fiancée Brenda. Carly warned Jax that Brenda would always love Sonny more. Jax insisted that Carly was wrong but changed his mind and walked out on Brenda after he received confirmation that Brenda had went to see Sonny.