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What is the Right of First Refusal in Child Custody?

 Posted on June 24, 2024 in Child Custody

There will be occasions when the parent whose turn it is to spend time with the child needs someone else to watch the child. One parent might have an adults-only wedding to attend, a mandatory training outside of normal work hours, or an emergency to attend to. In these situations, parents who are still together would likely leave their child with a family member or hire a babysitter. When parents are divorced, it may not make sense to use a babysitter when there is a parent available to care for the child. This is where the right of first refusal comes in. Parents often agree to this term, as it generally benefits them both. An Arlington Heights, IL child custody attorney can help you plan for child care when the parent who would normally be with the child is not available.

How the Right of First Refusal Clause Works 

When the right of first refusal clause is included in a parenting plan, it means that the parent who has the child with him must first offer the other parent the chance to spend time with the child before finding another babysitter. For example, suppose Parent A has parenting time for a week but needs to attend a funeral and does not want to bring the children. Parent A would be required to contact Parent B and offer her the chance to spend time with the children while Parent A is at the funeral. Only if Parent B refuses can Parent A make other arrangements for someone else to watch the children.

The right of first refusal clause benefits both parents and the children as well. Both parents may get to enjoy spending extra time with their children when the other parent is not available during his or her regularly scheduled parenting time. Many parents use this “bonus time” to do something fun with the children, like going out for ice cream or visiting a park.

Children also benefit from spending more time with a parent instead of with a babysitter and from seeing their parents work together to care for them. Young children, in particular, usually feel more secure when they are with a parent rather than being watched by another family member or unrelated babysitter. Parents know their children’s routines better than anyone else.

Contact a Cook County, IL Parenting Plans Attorney

Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley is committed to helping parents find solutions that work for them and their children. Experienced Arlington Heights, IL parenting plan lawyer Don Cosley personally handles all aspects of his cases, so you will always speak directly to your attorney. Contact us at 847-253-3100 for a complimentary consultation.

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