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How Can I Get Additional Parenting Time During My Ex-Spouse’s Absence?

Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights, IL divorce attorney parenting time

If you are a parent who is facing a breakup or divorce, you may struggle with the idea of splitting custody with your child’s other parent. When you are used to seeing your child on a daily basis, the thought of seeing him or her a limited number of days can be heartbreaking. In Illinois, divorcing parents are required to create a “parenting plan” that outlines arrangements for parental responsibilities and parenting time. One of the provisions in this plan is the “right of first refusal.” This provision may enable you to enjoy additional time with your child during the other parent’s absence.

Requiring Your Child’s Other Parent to Contact You Before Contacting a Babysitter

Parenting time, previously called visitation, refers to the time a parent spends directly caring for his or her child. If a parent cannot fulfill his or her parenting time responsibility because of a vacation, work obligation, or another reason, that parent may choose to hire a babysitter or ask a relative to watch his or her child. This can leave the child’s other parent frustrated and upset. The right of first refusal refers to a parent’s right to be informed about parental absences and given the opportunity to “refuse” additional parenting time. For example, consider a situation in which a mother has the children Monday through Friday and the father has the children on the weekends. The mother will be out of town on a work trip Monday and Tuesday. Because the parents’ right of first refusal provision dictates it, the mother is required to inform the father that she is going out of town and ask him if he wants to keep the children on Monday and Tuesday. If the father cannot watch the children those days, the mother is free to hire a nanny or find different childcare arrangements with other family members.

Determining How the Right of First Refusal Will Apply

You and your child’s other parent have the opportunity to determine exactly how the right of first refusal will apply. Some parenting plans only require a parent to inform the other if the intended absence is greater than 24 hours. Other parents design their parenting plan so that the right of first refusal applies to absences of only a few hours. You will also need to include information in your parenting plan about how and when the parent is required to inform the other parent about absences and how the children will be transported between parents’ homes. A family law attorney can be a valuable asset when determining how the right of first refusal will apply to your situation.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Child Custody Lawyer

There are over a dozen issues that must be addressed in an Illinois parenting plan. The goal when creating them is to make decisions based on what is in the child’s best interest. For help negotiating these issues, contact a skilled Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney from A. Traub & Associates. We can help with child custody concerns, child support, and more. Call us today at 847-749-4182 and arrange a confidential case assessment to discuss your needs.




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