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What is the first right of refusal in Illinois?

Determining child custody and associated parenting time plans can be incredibly difficult for parents when getting divorced in Illinois. This process brings you face-to-face with the realization of how much time with your children you will be giving up. Once the plans are set in place and approved via the court, there are some circumstances in which they may fluctuate.

Legislation passed in 2013 provided another way for you to obtain additional time with your children. The Illinois General Assembly explains that this centers around situations in which alternate caregivers may be sought. For the sake of example, imagine that a you and your ex-wife share custody of your three children. On one particular day when the kids will be with you, you has a special work event to attend. This event will take you away from the kids for about five hours.

It may generally be assumed that you could hire a babysitter or ask a relative or neighbor to take care of the children in your absence. That could once have been done but the law now requires that you first contact the children’s mother and ask if she would like to have the children during that time. She must essentially have first right of refusal for time with the kids. This law is another way that Illinois places an emphasis on facilitating more time for kids and parents together.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about the first right of refusal law in Illinois.


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