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What is the Right of First Refusal in an Illinois Parenting Plan?

Posted on in Child Custody

Rolling Meadows family law attorneyThe law in Illinois requires divorcing parents to submit a plan for how they intend to care and provide for their children. Parenting plans include provisions for how child custody, officially called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois, should be managed, as well as several other child-related concerns. One part of Illinois parenting plans that often gets overlooked is the “right of first refusal.” Read on to learn what the right of first refusal is and how you can include directions about extra parenting time in your parenting plan.

Maximizing Parenting Time With Right of First Refusal Provisions

If you are a parent who is getting divorced, you may worry that you will not get to spend as much time as you want to with your child once the divorce is finalized. Parents who are used to seeing their children every day can understandably have a difficult time adjusting to a parenting schedule where they see their children less often. The right of first refusal refers to the right that parents have to spend time with their children when the other parent cannot fulfill his or her parenting time obligations.

For example, imagine that your child’s other parent goes on a business trip during one of the weekends that he or she is assigned parenting time. Instead of the parent calling a babysitter or other individual to care for the child in his or her absence, the right of first refusal can require the parent to ask you if you are able and willing to care for your child during the business trip. If you “refuse” the extra parenting time, then the other parent would be permitted to hire a babysitter or find alternative childcare.

Specifying the Terms of the Right of First Refusal

Parents are encouraged to negotiate specific rules for the right of first refusal will apply in their parenting plan. You could decide, for example, that if a parent will be absent for more than two days or more that they must contact the other parent and offer the additional parenting time. You should also include information in your parenting plan about transportation arrangements and how communication concerning additional parenting time should be handled. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement about the terms of your parenting plan—including the right of first refusal—the court will intervene and decided on a plan that best meets the child’s needs.

Contact a Lombard Family Law Attorney

For help with disputes regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting plans, and more, contact an Arlington Heights divorce lawyer from A. Traub & Associates. Call our office at 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation. Our team will work closely with you in creating arrangements that provide the best possible future for you and your children.





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