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How Can I Include the Right of First Refusal in My Parenting Agreement?

 Posted on October 29, 2021 in Child Custody / Parental Responsibilities

Chicago divorce lawyerParents getting divorced in Illinois have many different issues to handle as they create a parenting plan for their children. Determining how to allocate important decision-making responsibilities, creating a plan for parenting time, and agreeing about how the children will be moved back and forth are all questions that must be dealt with. 

In addition to these major well-known issues, there is an additional provision called the “right of first refusal” that parents must address in their parenting plan. As with other issues related to the children, parents who work together can create a right of first refusal provision that allows them the flexibility they need. 

Understanding the Right of First Refusal 

Many changes have happened in Illinois family law in recent decades, and the right of first refusal is one such change. These changes reflect a shifting cultural attitude, supported by substantial research, that children are better off when both parents play as large of a role in their children’s lives as possible following a divorce.

The right of first refusal is a provision that requires parents to seek childcare from the other parent, rather than from a babysitter or other family member, and in so doing maximizes the amount of time the children spend with each parent. Parents can customize the right of first refusal so that it suits their schedules and makes sense considering the distance between their households. 

For example, parents who live close together and have a cooperative relationship may want to invoke the right of first refusal if the other parent has to be gone for more than three or four hours. But parents who live further apart, or who struggle to get along productively, may only want to invoke the right of first refusal for extended absences, such as an entire day or weekend. For some parents, having the right of first refusal simply does not make sense; as long as they explicitly agree to such terms in the parenting plan, that is acceptable.  

The right of first refusal simply requires parents to offer each other the opportunity to provide childcare; there is no obligation to respond affirmatively to each request. If the other parent is unavailable, the parent needing childcare simply seeks it from another source. 

Meet with a Skokie Divorce Attorney

At The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C., we have over 30 years of experience helping people navigate divorce and strategizing for a favorable outcome. If you want to ensure you have the right of first refusal, work with a reliable, highly skilled Cook County parenting plan attorney. We offer free limited consultations to give you a sense of what your options are and how we would handle your case. Call us today at 312-984-1514




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