Right of First Refusal in Your Parenting Plan or Custody Agreement
A common custody provision that parents include in their parenting plan and custody agreement is the right of first refusal. By including the right of first refusal in your parenting plan, you guarantee that anytime the other parent needs someone to watch the children, they must ask you first. Let’s explore this a little bit more.
Parents who include right of first refusal basically want the opportunity to watch the children when the other parent has them. This means that instead of calling a babysitter when a parent wants to go out, the parent calls the other parent first and gives them the right to first refuse the children. So, let’s say that the mother of two little boys decides to go on a three day vacation during the week when she has custody. Instead of calling her parents to watch the children, she must first call the boys’ father and give him the right to have the three days with the children. If he refuses, then she can find someone else to watch them.
You can set the time for when the parents have the right of first refusal. Some parents have the provision that anytime a parent is going to call someone to watch the children (even if it is just for an hour) they have to first call the other parent. This can be kind of difficult, and so many parents set the time from between 5-8 hours. So, if a parent is going to be away from the child for more than 5 hours (or whatever the exact hour you choose) they have to call the other parent to watch the children.
The right of first refusal custody provision can really enhance your agreement. It can also get you some extra time with the children, and you can be confident that the other parent isn’t dropping the children off with other people for extended periods of time. Custody X Change includes this and many other custody agreement provisions for parents to include in their plan.
Note: if the other parent fails to comply with the right of first refusal, the parent has violated the custody agreement or parenting plan. You can file a complaint with the court to show that the other parent is in contempt of the custody order. You may have to go to court and show evidence that the right of first refusal was denied. If possible, you can discuss the situation with the other parent first to come up with a solution.