Right of first refusal can give a parent the opportunity to act as a “babysitter” in lieu of the other parent enrolling the child in daycare or hiring a sitter. The circumstances can range from needing child care for only a few hours, during normal work hours, or for extended work-related travel and military maneuvers. The theory behind right of first refusal is that each parent’s time with their child is more important than the child’s time spent with a third party.
The “right of first refusal” must be written in the court ordered child custody and visitation orders, and many people do not know that such an arrangement is possible to ask for during custody negotiations. Some parents are able to agree upon such an arrangement without needing a formal order, but often it is sensible to include verbiage in the in the custody and visitation orders in case a future challenge should arise.
Stays with relatives, such as grandparents or another member of the household, are typically considered family visitation and do not fall under the right of first refusal order. Therefore, a parent who wants to go out for the evening can leave the child with a grandparent, and that parent does not have to offer the right of first refusal to the ex-partner.
Getting Legal Help
Issues surrounding child custody can be fraught with emotion. Experienced Sacramento Family Law Attorney Hal Bartholomew can help you get through your divorce and child custody issues with respect and compassion. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP today for knowledgeable and respectful representation. Call us at (916) 546-4393.