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Child Custody or Parental Responsibility Allocation

Fathers and Child Support ModificationParental responsibility allocation, which was formerly known as child custody, is one of the most difficult aspects of divorce for most parents. The emotion of all concerned can overwhelm reason, and in the midst of marital property division agreements, the children can become pawns.

Child custody lawyers, Wilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C. in Belleville, can help your family review the types of custody and decide on an arrangement that takes into account the best interests of the children, while sheltering them from as much of the turmoil as possible.

Using Mediation

The process of allocating parental responsibility in mediation has greatly helped to streamline these proceedings. An agreement reached by both parents outside of court generally has the best chance of being peaceably honored. Mediation is required by the statute, and therefore, the parties have no choice but to participate. However, the results have been overwhelmingly successful since the inception of the statute.

If mediation does not work, we can ask the court to appoint an attorney to represent the interests of the children, and make a recommendation to the court as to parental responsibility allocation or parenting time. This attorney is called a guardian ad litem. He or she will interview the parties, the children, and often does home visits. The use of this person can give insights to the court that otherwise would not be possible as the judges are unable to go to the homes or conduct interviews of the parties with the children present.

You Have Time Limits For Filing A Parenting Plan

In Illinois, there is limited time to file a parenting plan or you risk leaving the decision over parenting responsibility allocation to the court. Within 120 days of filing a petition related to parenting issues, a proposed parenting plan must be filed with the family court, unless extended by the court. In the absence of filing a parenting plan, the court must conduct an evidentiary hearing to allocate parenting responsibilities and determine each parents’ share of custody. Divorce Attorney, Belleville, IL.

Resolving Disputes Over Parenting Responsibilities

If your disagreement about parenting responsibility allocation does find its way into a courtroom, you can have confidence in our litigation experience. In the courtroom for more than 32 years, attorney Susan Parnell Wilson has the skill and understanding that you need to fight for your rights and your child’s best interests. Both Heather Dabler and Sara Rice have multiple years of litigation experience in family law and criminal law respectively and complete a well rounded staff to handle all your needs in the courtroom.

Making Changes To Parental Responsibility Allocation with Custody Lawyers Belleville, IL

Years after a parental responsibility allocation agreement is reached, life situations of one or both parents may change. These changes need to be reflected in the agreement and court order. We skillfully guide parents through the modification process. As the child ages and approaches college, we are highly skilled in non-minor support litigation to help cover higher education expenses and other costs for which the parents seek assistance to pay.

Your Parental Rights After Divorce in Illinois

Parenting Agreement for Divorce in Belleville, ILWilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C. in Belleville represents mothers and fathers as they seek to sort through parental rights, child custody cases and paternity issues keeping in mind the interests of the child.

Father’s Rights in Illinois

If you are married to the mother of your child, you are generally presumed to be the birth father unless tests prove otherwise. If you and the mother are unmarried, however, you should consider, carefully, the role you wish to play in the child’s life. If you do not take the proper steps in the correct timeline, the road to establishing that you are the father will be much harder later.

  • Name yourself as the father on the child’s birth certificate.
  • Sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (VAP) at the time of birth.
  • Legally seek parenting responsibility allocation or parenting time rights early in the life of the child. These were formerly known as custody and visitation rights.
  • Request to be added to the Illinois Putative Father Registry.

These steps will help you establish paternity now and avoid many pitfalls that arise if too much time passes before attempting to do so. If you are seeking paternity now, however, and were not aware of these steps in the past, we can help you establish that you are the father. You are entitled to a DNA test in most situations. Once paternity is established, you may seek to be granted all parental rights afforded under the law including legal custody and or physical custody.

Your Rights As A Mother

If you are seeking to establish the paternity of your child’s father, we can help with the process, as well as seeking the child support needed.

If the father is the one seeking to establish paternity and gain parental rights, we are prepared to represent your interests as the custodial parent in parenting responsibility allocation, child custody orders and parenting time disputes.

If you wish to pursue minimal or no parenting time, Wilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C. can review the issue with you and help defend your interests and your reasons for seeking this result, if it is warranted.

Create A Parenting Time Arrangement That Works

Illinois Child Custody LawsWe understand that parenting time issues, which were formerly referred to as visitation, are emotional and that objectivity can be elusive.

Wilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C., family law attorneys in Belleville, Illinois, we are sensitive to these issues. We will help your family find the best possible parenting time arrangement for your specific situation. As more families consider mediation services, the process of determining parenting responsibility allocation and/or parenting time plans has made some great advances. When both parents have the opportunity to candidly discuss their concerns and goals, it is more likely they will reach an agreement on their own that they will both honor.Did One Parent Violate The Agreement?

After a parenting time agreement has been breached by either parent, a citation may be issued. We defend parents who feel that the violation of the parenting time agreement was due to an unsafe or unhealthy situation with the other parent.

Through a process of investigation, as well as possible mediation and the advice of experts, we work to determine the issues and how they can be corrected. When necessary, our lawyers will take the case to court to have the parenting time agreement amended.

If the parents are still unable to agree, we utilize third-party exchange centers to safely and peacefully transfer the child between parents.

Talk To Our Attorneys

The rights of a parent may be terminated if the custodial parent proves extreme abuse or neglect of the child by the other parent. Other factors include abandonment, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependence issues, domestic violence or a general failure to support the children.

For a consultation to discuss how Wilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C., St Clair County divorce lawyers can help make a difference in your family’s parenting time situation, please contact our attorneys today at 618-235-1600.

Wilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C.

14 South Second Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Satellite Office (by appointment only)
216 North Market Street
Waterloo, IL 62298


Contact Us

Fax- 618-235-1617




Office Hours

8:30am-5pm Monday-Thursday
8:30am-4pm on Fridays
Closed for lunch from Noon-1pm
After Hours Appointments Available