After a divorce or other situation leading to the creation of a child custody order, most parents are granted certain amounts of time with their child or children. This time may be rather significant, as would be the case for a parent who was awarded sole custody of a child, or it may be relatively limited, as would be the case for a parent with visitation for a few days each month. For many other parents, their time with the child often falls somewhere in between. Challenges may arise, however, when, for whatever reason, a single or divorced parent needs to find alternative care for the child during his or her arranged parenting time. In such situations, the Illinois law regarding the “right of first refusal” may be invoked.
Child Custody and Right of First Refusal
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, any child custody arrangement involving joint custody or rights of visitation may also include provisions for the right of first refusal. The terms of first refusal rights may be amicably negotiated by the parties or determined and awarded by the court to one or both parents. As with most child-related issues, the best interest of the child is expected to remain the highest priority in making such a determination.