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Three Facts About the Right of First Refusal in a Texas Parenting Plan

Posted on in Family Law

Llano Child Visitation AttorneyAll parents who get divorced in Texas or who seek to establish or modify a court-approved custody order must create a “parenting plan.” A parenting plan establishes important details about the parents’ relationship to the child, including the division of possession of and access to the child (physical custody). 

One important part of a parenting plan that benefits many parents in Texas is something called “the right of first refusal.” Understanding the right of first refusal and whether you want it in your parenting plan is an important step in creating a plan that benefits you and your child. 

What is the Right of First Refusal? 

The right of first refusal is an optional clause in a parenting plan that requires parents to use each other as babysitters before seeking help from other childcare providers. That being said, the right of first refusal can be as flexible or rigid as parents want it to be. The basic idea is that children will be able to maximize time spent with both parents while minimizing conflict between parents. 

How Does the Right of First Refusal Work in Texas? 

The right of first refusal is not an obligation for either parent to take responsibility for the child every time the other parent is not available. It simply requires parents to make the offer so they have the flexibility to adjust to small changes in everyday life. The right of first refusal process works like this: 

  • The parent who otherwise has possession of the child is unable to care for the child for any reason (such as taking a vacation or attending a college class), so they need childcare. That parent asks the other parent if they are available to watch the child before asking anyone else. 

  • The other parent can agree to take care of the child, or 

  • If the other parent is unable or unwilling to take care of the child, the parent who needs childcare can seek help from someone else. 

Do We Have to Have a Right of First Refusal Clause in Texas? 

In short, no. Parents do not have to include a right of first refusal clause if they do not want to, or if it does not make sense. Parents who live close together, communicate well, and are able to cooperate without engaging in regular conflict may benefit from it most.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Llano, TX Child Custody Lawyer

At Law Office of Russ Alan Baker, PLLC, we consider it part of our job to help our clients understand their options for parenting plans. If you are getting divorced or seeking a modification of your court-ordered parenting plan, schedule a free consultation with a Llano County parenting plan attorney who can help you meet the best interests of your child. Call our offices today at 325-216-2006



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