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Do Not Forget About the Right of First Refusal During Parenting Time Negotiations

 Posted on September 26,2019 in Child Custody

Do Not Forget About the Right of First Refusal During Parenting Time NegotiationsCo-parenting is not easy. Balancing the responsibilities of taking care of children between you and your co-parent is challenging even for couples who are together. When you become a single parent, balancing these responsibilities become more difficult to manage. Many divorcing parents often worry about the fact that they will most likely have to split their parenting time with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse. It is hard for many parents to cope with the fact that they may not see their children every day anymore or be there for every one of their child’s milestones or achievements. One small solace that can be awarded to divorcing parents is what is known as the right of first refusal.

What is the Right of First Refusal?

Illinois courts strongly encourage parents to come to their own agreement on child-related issues such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, then the court will step in to allocate parenting time and decision-making responsibilities in the child’s best interest. If the court must step in, it may award either parent the right of first refusal, which is a clause in the parenting plan that states that the other parent must be the first person to be offered the right to care for the child if the parent cannot watch the child during his or her designated parenting time. The parent must ask the other parent if they are able to or would like to care for the child before they seek alternative options for childcare.

Right of First Refusal Agreements

The court is not the only one who can create a right of first refusal agreement. If the parents agree to come up with a parenting plan on their own, they are permitted to include information about the right of first refusal if they please. Clauses about the right of first refusal should include:

  • How a parent must notify the other parent (e.g. verbally, in writing) and how the other parent must respond to the notification;
  • The length of time that alternative childcare is needed during the parent’s designated parenting time that can trigger the right of first refusal;
  • Transportation requirements during the invocation of the right of first refusal; and
  • Any other factor that is needed to protect the best interests of the child.

A Will County Parenting Time Attorney Can Help You Hash Out the Details

If you are going through a divorce with children, you know how challenging it can be for both you and your child. The right of first refusal allows you and your child to spend invaluable extra time together if the child’s other parent is unable to care for the child during his or her parenting time. At The Foray Firm, we know how important parent-child relationships are. Our skilled Joliet, IL, parenting time lawyers will do everything in their power to form a parenting plan that is agreeable to everyone. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.



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