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What is right of first refusal with child custody in Illinois?

When an Illinois couple has a child and both parents share parental rights, there are certain issues that can be complicated when providing care and making decisions on the child's behalf. This is where the care of minor children and the right of first refusal when providing care becomes important. With right of first refusal, if a parent intends to leave the child with someone else for childcare, then the other parent must be given a chance to care for the child first, unless an emergency precludes seeking out the other parent's position

There can be an agreement for right of first refusal should it be in the child's best interests. Without an agreement, the court will decide if the right of first refusal supports the child's best interests. There are certain considerations when addressing this issue that will be part of the court's decision-making process when deciding whether to implement a right of first refusal.

The court will factor in the duration of the childcare and its requirement to invoke first refusal, notice provided to the other parent and the response to that notice, transportation requirements, and other actions needed to provide protection and promote the child's best interests. The right of first refusal will end when the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time ends.

As with any disagreement or issue related to child custody, the needs of the child are paramount when deciding this matter. For some parents, this is a relatively easy issue to deal with as they are on reasonable or even good terms with each other and can negotiate for the benefit of their child. In other cases, the relationship between parents is contentious and every part of the process is complicated. Understanding first refusal is critical to the care of the child, though, so parents need to make sure it is appropriately addressed before the issue blows up into something bigger. A law firm that is experienced with allocation of parental responsibilities may prove helpful in one of these cases.

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