An Overview of the Right of First Refusal in Illinois Parenting Plans

 Posted on December 09, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Parenting Time LawyerIn 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced they were getting divorced using a very particular phrase: “Conscious uncoupling.” The couple faced widespread public derision over the term, which was seen as snooty and foolish. However, in the years that have followed, the public at large has begun to recognize the values embedded in the idea of a conscious uncoupling: That parents of minor children, even if they decide to end their marriage, can still be committed to divorcing carefully and co-parenting in a way that puts their children’s interests first. 

One strategy under Illinois law that allows parents to do exactly that is a concept known as the “right of first refusal.” This idea, while not for everyone, can allow two ex-partners to continue co-parenting peacefully while maximizing the amount of time that each parent gets to spend with their child. To learn more, read on and then contact a team of Illinois divorce attorneys who are committed to helping you get peacefully divorced while protecting your child’s future.

Understanding the Right of First Refusal

The right of first refusal is simply the idea that parents will use each other as backup childcare providers before seeking help from babysitters, family members, or other sources of childcare. Parents can set the parameters under which the right of first refusal will kick in, and these can be different for each family. Some things to consider as you determine whether the right of first refusal makes sense for you include: 

  • Each parent’s work schedule

  • How far away parents live from each other

  • How well each parent’s house is set up to allow the children to stay there comfortably 

  • How well parents get along and manage points of potential conflict 

  • How much time parents will need to be gone before the right of first refusal kicks in 

  • How easily the children can be moved from household to household

Based on these and any other relevant factors, parents can put the terms they agree to into their parenting plan. It is important to note, however, that the right of first refusal is not a good idea for every family. If parents struggle to get along, or if one parent has abused or neglected the other parent or the children, the right of first refusal is likely not an effective parenting strategy.  

Meet with a Kane County, IL Parenting Plan Attorney

If you are getting divorced and are committed to protecting your children’s best interests throughout the divorce process, you need a team of St. Charles, IL divorce attorneys who are committed to helping you do exactly that. At Goostree Law Group, we are happy to do whatever we can to facilitate a peaceful divorce for you and your family, and we will use our legal expertise and cooperative environment to provide legal guidance while following a strategy that respects your preferences. Call us today at 630-584-4800 and schedule a free, confidential consultation. 




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