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What is the right of first refusal in custody matters?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Divorce |

The right of first refusal is a clause sometimes included in a custody agreement that allows one parent the first opportunity to care for their child in situations when the other parent cannot. This means that if the parent with custody cannot care for their child during their designated time, they must offer the other parent the opportunity to look after the child before making alternative childcare arrangements.

Understanding the benefits and limitations of this type of clause can help divorcing parents decide if this is a good option for their family.

Why include a right of first refusal?

This clause ensures that the child always remains under the care of a parent rather than being left with a third-party caregiver. This can provide peace of mind for parents who want to ensure their child’s safety and well-being.

Additionally, it can reduce childcare expenses as the other parent takes care of the child rather than hiring a babysitter. The arrangement can also help maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship, as both parents have the opportunity to care for their child.

What are the limitations?

A right of first refusal might pose challenges in practice as it requires communication and cooperation between both parents. It also may not work well in scenarios where one parent lives far away, making it difficult to transport the child between households. Adding this clause also might not be ideal for situations where one parent has concerns about the other parent’s ability to provide adequate childcare.

The right of first refusal can serve as an excellent addition to a custody agreement, ensuring that both parents have the opportunity to look after their child.

Schnaars Law Firm, LLC


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