Making the Most of Your “Right of First Refusal” in Your Illinois Parenting Plan
Any divorce As a divorcing parent, one of the most challenging concerns you may currently be facing is the prospect of seeing your child less often than you are used to. For a parent who is heavily involved in his or her child’s daily life, transitioning to a shared parenting schedule after divorce can be very difficult. This is one reason that disagreements about parental responsibilities and parenting time can become heavily contested during a divorce. The “right of first refusal” is an important element in an Illinois parenting plan that any parent in a child custody dispute should be aware of.
What Does “Right of First Refusal” Mean?
When you file your divorce petition, you will be asked to create a parenting plan and submit it to the court. This plan outlines how you will share parenting time, make important decisions about your child, and handle other co-parenting issues. The parenting plan also includes a provision explaining the right of first refusal. This is the right that parents have to be informed when the other parent cannot fulfill his or her allotted parenting time. The other parent must be given a chance to “refuse” the additional parenting time before the original parent can hire a babysitter or make other childcare arrangements.
Deciding How and When the Right of First Refusal Applies
You and your former spouse can decide how and when the right of first refusal applies. For example, you may decide that if a parent is absent for more than three hours of his or her allotted parenting time, the parent must inform the other parent of the absence. The other parent then has the opportunity to care for the child during the absence. You may also want to include provisions about how much advance notice you must give the other parent if you cannot fulfill your parenting time obligation. It is also a good idea to address how the child will be transported between the homes in this circumstance.
If you hope to gain additional parenting time or you worry that your child’s other parent will rely on third-party childcare too often, make sure you take full advantage of the right of first refusal. If you and the other parent struggle to reach an agreement about this issue or the other elements of the parenting plan, working with a skilled divorce lawyer can help.
Contact a Batavia Child Custody Lawyer
If you are a parent who is getting divorced, Kane County divorce attorney Van A. Larson can help you with issues related to parenting time, parental responsibilities, asset and debt division, child support, and more. Call the Law Office of Van A. Larson, P.C. at 630-879-9090 for a free consultation.