After the divorce process has been initiated, one of the most difficult things for parents to adjust to is the change in their parenting schedules. Instead of seeing and spending time with your child every day, you might only be spending a few days with your child each week. For many parents, this can feel as if they never get to spend enough time with their children. One option that can help a divorced parent spend more time with their children is including a clause known as the right of first refusal in the parenting agreement. An Illinois family law attorney can help you draft a parenting plan that includes this provision.
What is the Right of First Refusal in a Parenting Plan?
The right of first refusal means that when one parent is unable to take care of the child during their scheduled parenting time, they are to first check with the other parent to see if they would like to care for the child before making alternative child care arrangements. The idea behind this is to allow both parents to spend as much time with their children as possible rather than resorting to another option, and in some cases, it may even help parents save on child care costs.
Awarding the Right of First Refusal
As with the parenting time schedule, it is preferred if the parents can agree to a plan for the right of first refusal between themselves. However, if the parents are unable to do so, the judge will determine whether or not awarding the right of first refusal to one or both parents would be in the child’s best interest. To make this determination, the judge would use the same criteria that are used when making decisions on parenting time.
Contents of the Right of First Refusal Agreement
If both spouses come to an agreement or a judge issues an order for the right of first refusal, the order should include information such as:
The length and type of child care requirements that invoke the right of first refusal
How the other parent is to be notified and how the other parent should respond
Who is responsible for transportation
Any other action needed to protect or promote the best interests of the child
Contact Our Knowledgeable Naperville, IL Parenting Plan Attorneys Today
If you have recently begun the divorce process or you are drafting a parenting plan, you should get in touch with a knowledgeable DuPage County parenting plan lawyer. At the Goostree Law Group, we can help you create a plan that protects the special bond you have with your child. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-364-4046.