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Understanding the Right of First Refusal in an Illinois Parenting Plan

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County parenting plan lawyerIf you are an unmarried parent or parent going through a divorce, you may have concerns about sharing parental responsibilities and parenting time with your child’s other parent. Going from a situation in which you spend every day with your child to one in which you have to share custody can be extremely difficult. In order to maximize the amount of parenting time, or visitation, you have with your child in a shared parenting arrangement, you will want to make the most of a “right of first refusal” provision in your Illinois parenting plan.

Your Right to Spend Time with your Child

An Illinois parenting plan or parenting agreement is a required document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of divorced or unmarried parents. The plan includes directions for how parental responsibilities are allocated, how major decisions about the child will be made, a parenting time schedule or method for determining parenting time, transportation arrangements, and more. Parents are encouraged to create their own parenting plan, but if parents cannot come to an agreement on parenting time and other issues, the court will decide on behalf of the parents. One item that often gets overlooked in Illinois parenting plans is the right of first refusal. Put plainly, the right of first refusal gives you the right to care for your child if the other parent is not able to care for the child during his or her scheduled parenting time.

Elements of the Right of First Refusal

Consider this situation: you are a parent who only gets to see your child every other weekend. You miss your child on the off weekends and wish you got to see him or her more often. On one of the weekends that your child’s other parent is allotted parenting time, he or she decides to take a trip out of town. The other parent hires a babysitter to watch your child during his or her absence. Due to your limited time with your child, you will likely feel that you should be the one to care for your child rather than an outside party.

If a parenting plan includes the right of first refusal, a parent will be required to contact the other parent before asking a third party to care for the child during his or her scheduled parenting time. In the above example, the right of first refusal could require the other parent to contact you and ask if you are available to care for your child before contacting a babysitter. Parents can dictate the specifics of the right of first refusal in their parenting plan, such as the length of time a parent will need to be unavailable before contacting the other parent.

Contact a Wheaton Parenting Time Lawyer

Turn to the trusted professionals at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. for help with parenting plans, parenting time schedules, child custody, right of first refusal, and more. Schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney by calling 630-462-9500 today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

https://www.ourfamilywizard.com/blog/right-of-first-refusal

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