Child Custody and Visitation in Belleville, IL

We Vigorously Advocate on Your Behalf

Dixon & Johnston Law Office is a Martindale-Hubbell®-recognized law firm concentrating in family, bankruptcy, and social security disability law. Our attorneys focus their attention solely on these issues so they can provide superior legal services to the clients who require their assistance. We can help you achieve child custody or visitation rights if your family is changing. Our goal is to guide you through this challenging time while protecting your rights as a parent. Both child custody and visitation issues confuse many of our clients. We want you to understand that even if you don't have sole custody of your child, you have the right to see and co-parent your child. We're here to protect those rights.

Winning Custody of Your Children During a Divorce

During a divorce involving children, tempers can run hot. One of our responsibilities involves ensuring you understand the proceedings, your rights, and the status of your case. If you are seeking custody of your child or children, how we approach the case depends partially on how the case unfolds. However, every child custody case considers any of the following factors:

  • Parental wishes: Sometimes, one parent wants fewer custodial responsibilities. Additionally, during many divorces, neither party wants to deprive their child of the other parent. While not common, this is one of the first things the legal teams on both sides assess. Assuming both parents want custody equally, our legal team moves on to the following set of determiners.
  • Mental and physical health: We can use mental health and physical health records, interview physicians, and compel the testimony of other individuals to get a picture of the health of the other parent. These health records can provide an accurate picture of one parent's capability to gain full custody of their child.
  • The wishes of the child or children: It doesn't matter how old the children are; their wishes do play an important role in child custody cases. Unless they are still in infancy, we will consider their wishes. While your child's desires won't be the sole determiner, they are valuable in context and can drive the proceedings in direction.
  • Social media: Today, social media habits can impact divorce and custody proceedings. Facebook, Twitter, and self-deleting apps like Snapchat are all useful to our legal team. No part of social media is truly private. If you believe incriminating evidence lies in the social media profile of the other parent, our legal team can get to it.
  • Writings: Writings include everything from letters and photographs to emails, words, and pictures. We always seek these documents during child custody cases because they provide in-the-moment snapshots of parenting styles, as well as the tenor of any disagreements that pop up. Our legal team performs an exhaustive search of these options during the discovery phase. Contact us today to gain the benefit of our services.

How the Court Determines Visitation Rights

Contrary to media depictions, most custody and visitation agreements are negotiated long before the case arrives before a judge. If you visit us for a free consultation, one of the first things we make sure you understand is even if you lose custody of your children, the custody agreement does not allow the other parent to prevent you from seeing your children. You have a statutory right to have extended face-to-face time with your child. Lastly, all custody and visitation arrangements must be reasonable and work within each parent's schedules. Visitation agreements often hinge on several factors, including:

  • If the two parties can communicate well enough to co-parent their children

  • How much time one parent desires to spend with their child

  • How much time one parent can reasonably spend with their children

  • Who is in the best position - based on several factors - to care for their children each day

Understanding Your Visitation Rights

Illinois law protects non-custodial parents from being shut out of their children's lives. They have the constitutional right to see their children independent of which parent maintains custody. Not only that, but the ability to pay child support doesn't impact visitation or parenting rights. Dixon & Johnston Law Office works hard to make sure these legal protections apply to each of our clients.

We Offer a Plethora of Family Services to Our Clients

Family law is a complicated and emotionally fraught area of law. Fortunately, we have the experience required to represent our clients fairly and accurately. Our goal is to try our hardest to win the settlement you believe you deserve and look out for your interests when we can't. We offer our clients representation during contentious and collaborative divorces alike. We can protect your child custody rights and secure fair child support amounts. Our team also provided experienced representation in property division, paternity, alimony, and modification. We round out our family law services by providing adoption services, helping families throughout the region grow. Discover the benefits of working with a small band of committed lawyers on your case by scheduling a free consultation today. We'll get started on your case immediately if you choose to hire our firm.