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What is the right of first refusal in Illinois child custody?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2021 | Firm News |

When a couple in Illinois shares a child but are separated or divorced, there will usually be a child custody and visitation agreement. However, there are certain aspects of a child custody and visitation agreement that might sound unfamiliar. One issue is the care of minor children and the right of first refusal.

When both parents receive parenting time, the court has the right to consider whether or not one or both parties have the right of first refusal in giving care to a minor child while the other parent is supposed to be having his or her parenting time. An exception is when the need for child care is due to an emergency situation. When the term “right of first refusal” is used, it means that if a parent intends to leave the child with a replacement person to care for the child for an extended period, there must first be an offer to the other parent to care for the child. There might be an agreement for the right of first refusal. If an agreement cannot be made, the court makes the decision that it is in the best interests of the child whether there will be a right of first refusal.

The following factors are taken into account by the court: the amount of time and necessities when invoking the right of first refusal; the notification to the other parent and the reply; any factors regarding transportation and any action that is required to provide protection to the child and make certain the best interests are adhered to. If there is a termination of the parenting time or parental responsibilities, so too will the right of first refusal be terminated.

This might not sound like a major concern when there is a child custody agreement in place, but depending on the circumstances, it might eventually be important. Those who think they might need a right of first refusal for a child need to be fully aware of the details of this law. This post is general in nature, and cannot guarantee how the right of first refusal will be handled in any given case. A family law attorney may be able to answer questions about parenting time and provide assistance with the right of first refusal.