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Oak Park right of first refusal lawyer

For couples with children who are going through a divorce, one of the most important aspects of the process is ensuring that their child's best interests are met. The courts require that divorcing parents try to work together to create a parenting plan that will determine each parent’s level of authority in making decisions about raising the child, define schedules for the parenting time the child will spend with each parent, and address other relevant issues. If the parents cannot come to an agreement on these issues, these decisions will be made by the judge in their divorce case. The “right of first refusal” is one issue that may need to be addressed in a parenting plan.

What Is the “Right of First Refusal”?

When a parenting plan is approved by the court, it is expected that each parent will follow the court-ordered parenting time schedule. However, situations may arise in which a parent will not be available during their scheduled parenting time, and they may need to utilize a third-party caregiver, such as a daycare, grandparents, or babysitters for a significant period of time. In these situations, the other parent may want to have the option to care for the children. 

If a parenting plan includes the “right of first refusal”, it will state that if one parent ever plans on leaving a minor child with a third-party caretaker for a significant timeframe, that parent must first offer the other parent the opportunity to care for the child during that timeframe instead. Depending on the situation, parents may agree that the “right of first refusal” would be in the child's best interest, but if they cannot agree on how this right will arise, then the judge may decide whether to include this right in the parenting agreement, as well as terms specifying how it will be used.

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