The “Right of First Refusal” is a provision frequently written into custody orders and parenting plans. But what the heck is it? Basically it is a provision that states before a parent can use a third party babysitter or daycare, they must give the other parent the right to watch the children first. If that parent refuses or does not wish to have the children during the time they would be with the third party caregiver, then the parent with the kids can use a babysitter or daycare.

The vast majority of parenting plans with a right of first refusal clause have limitations on them, most commonly a time limitation prior to the clause kicking in. An example would be a clause that states if the parent will be away from the children for more than four (4) hours, then that parent must give the other parent the right to watch the children until they during the time the parent will be away from the kids.
It is important to understand, unless stated otherwise in the parenting plan, a third party is anyone other than the two parents. That means new spouses, grandparents, older siblings and other family members are considered third parties and may only watch the children during the time the parent is unavailable only if the other parent has turned down their right to act as the caregiver.

If you have any questions regarding Rights of First Refusal or any custody or divorce questions, please call the Law Office of Andrew G. Storie at (407) 838-0887.