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Parenting Plans & the Right of First Refusal

By MaryCatherine Crock
Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 9:00AM

Parenting Plans & the Right of First Refusal

Parenting and time-sharing agreements often encompass an array of topics which may arise when navigating the world of co-parenting. Often, the topics which come to mind first are time-sharing, child support, and parental responsibility. However, some of the less common issues can prove just as important when preempting disagreements and issues between the parties.

One of the less commonly considered issues is that of child care when one of the natural parents is unavailable during their designated time-sharing schedule. This is common as many parents work full time or have other commitments which may require child care during their time-sharing. Public policy dictates that, often, the child is better equipped with supervision from one of the natural parents, which is where the right of first refusal may arise. The right of first refusal is a condition within parenting plans which allows for the parent not exercising time-sharing to be given the first opportunity to care for the child in the event the time-sharing parent needs child care for a period of time. Parties can also negotiate to arrange the terms of this provision in ways that best suit their circumstances. For example, if either party does not want to have to notify the other parent every time they may need to run an errand and they have relatives or other appropriate child care providers available, the parties can agree that the right of first refusal applies to any period exceeding a certain amount of hours, as opposed to any period of time. Further, the parties could negotiate that the right of first refusal only applies if the child care provider is not a previously approved provider or a relative. The previous examples are just some of the ways  parties are able to negotiate this provision. However, an open dialogue and agreement as to a right of first refusal can be significant in alleviating future issues between the parties as they may arise.

The Rice Law Firm’s Family Division has handled many cases in which the right of first refusal becomes a central issue.  Our attorneys have served the Daytona Beach, Volusia County, and Central Florida areas since 1986. Contact us today at our Daytona Beach location at 386-310-2914.


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