Blog
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Right of first refusal

Geneva child custody lawyersWhen a couple with children gets divorced in Illinois, they are required to create a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a formal document that lays out each parent’s responsibilities and rights regarding the child and provides a foundation for ongoing, cooperative parenting. If the parents cannot come up with a workable plan on their own, the court may do for them.

Under Illinois law, there are over a dozen considerations that must be included or addressed in a parenting plan, including things such as a parenting time schedule and the child’s permanent address for school enrollment purposes. Other elements can also be included at the discretion of the parents or the court, including the right of first refusal. If the right of first refusal has been included in your parenting plan, you need to know what it means.

Bonus Parenting Time

For the purposes of a parenting plan, the right of first refusal applies when a parent needs childcare during his or her allotted parenting time. Depending on how the right is structured in your plan, the right of first refusal could apply when one parent has meeting some evening or it could be saved for longer periods, such as an all-day event on a weekend when the parent was supposed to have parenting time. If the right of first refusal is invoked, the parent who needs child care must let the other parent know and give the other parent the chance to have extra parenting time.

Kane County family law attorneysWhen the other parent in an allocation of parental responsibilities case is given the majority of the parenting time, it can feel like you will only rarely see your child. However, there are many things you can do to increase your time that you and your children get to spend together. Even if the court has decided it is not in the child’s best interest for you to be the primary caretaker, that does not mean you cannot play a vital role your child’s life.

Right of First Refusal

Under Illinois law, when the child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent can ask the court for the “right of first refusal” when childcare is needed. This means that before the child is put in daycare or a sitter is called, the other parent should be given the chance to be with their child instead.

first refusal, Illinois Law, Geneva family law attorneyAfter 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.

A change to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act may mean a big change in child-care options for divorced parents who share joint custody of their children. For some, this change in Illinois family law may mean a significant change in way they schedule their errand days or vacations.

right of first refusal IMAGEAccording to Illinois HB 2992, next year parents who are in a joint-custody relationship must notify the other parent of their plans for a day or night out, and offer them the opportunity to care for the child temporarily before seeking third-party care from grandparents, babysitters, or daycare centers. This applies even if the other parent lives farther away than other relatives or babysitters, so long as the distance is not considered impractical. Additionally, should the co-parent choose to accept the additional parenting time, they must provide any necessary transportation, unless other arrangements are agreed upon.

This clause is referred to as “right of first refusal,” and applies to any time when one parent must leave the child in the care of another for a period of four hours or more. For families that schedule a once-a-week errand day or parents’ night out, this could mean sending the child to their other parent instead of calling a babysitter or the grandparents. The one exception to this change is in the case of emergency. Right of first refusal may also be terminated if one parent’s custody or visitation rights are terminated by the court.

Talk to an attorney now. Call 630-232-9700.
For faster response to after-hours inquiries, please   email us.