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Right of First Refusal for Child Custody Cases

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Custody

first refusal, child custody, Illinois Family LawyerIf you are in the process of negotiating arrangements for child custody or visitation, you may wish to request the inclusion of the right of first refusal. This recent addition to child custody laws in Illinois provides parents with additional access to time with their children, with priority over non-parental child-care. When in effect, the right of first refusal can also help facilitate a more cooperative relationship between divorced or separated parents.

By Agreement or Court Order

As with most aspects of child custody and family law, you and the other parent may come to an agreement over the right of first refusal without intervention of the court. By including it in your arrangement, you agree that if you require child-care for a significant period of time, you will offer the other parent the opportunity to provide the needed care before seeking another alternative. The right of first refusal may be set up to work in both directions between parents or, alternatively, it may only apply to one parent, if appropriate.

The court may also consider including the right of first refusal based on its own discretion and a consideration of relevant factors. The court’s priority is always the best interest of the child, and whether the right of first refusal will help serve the child’s needs.

Flexibility in the Law

When the right of first refusal is included in an order for child custody, the parents or the court must establish several necessary considerations. The law offers a degree of flexibility, so that the right can be customized to meet the needs of each individual situation. An order that incorporates the right of first refusal must designate:

  • What conditions will invoke the right, including the family’s definition of a "significant period of time;"
  • How communication between the parents is to occur, including the offering, accepting, and declining of child-care opportunities;
  • Who will be responsible for transportation when invoking the right; and
  • Any other necessary or relevant details.

Arrangements regarding child custody and visitation can be very complex, often made more so by the parents’ inability to work together for their children. Fortunately, the experienced Arlington Heights family law attorneys at A. Traub & Associates can assist you through the process. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable legal professional who understands your needs and concerns. We proudly serve clients throughout Kane County and the greater Chicagoland area.

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