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Can I Take Care of My Kids When My Ex Has to Travel Out of Town? 

Posted on in Child custody

Tarrant County Right of First Refusal LawyerWhen Texas parents of a minor child share custody of the child, they must create and abide by a legally enforceable parenting agreement. Although courts can set the terms of the parenting agreement (technically known as a “possession agreement” in Texas legal terms), most co-parents find they can create a better, more satisfactory parenting agreement when they work together outside of court. 

One possible option many parents take advantage of in a customized parenting agreement is an idea called the “right of first refusal.” In this blog, we will explore the basics of the right of first refusal and how, under the right circumstances, it can benefit both a child and her parents. 

The Right of First Refusal in Texas

The right of first refusal is a clause that states one or both parents will rely on each other for childcare when they would otherwise hire a babysitter or ask a family member for help. The right of first refusal does not have set terms, but rather can be customized to suit the needs and schedule of the parents. Ideally, it allows both parents to maximize their time with a child whenever possible. 

Is the Right of First Refusal a Good Option For Us? 

Whether the right of first refusal will benefit you and your child depends on your unique circumstances. Parents who can work together, communicate regularly without escalating into conflict, and live close together are most likely to benefit. 

However, the right of first refusal can be actively detrimental to parents and children in certain circumstances. For example, if a family has a history of certain issues, the right of first refusal may be dangerous for a parent and expose a child to ongoing, unnecessary conflict. These circumstances include: 

  • Domestic violence

  • Hostility or antagonism from either party that causes frequent conflict

  • A parent who requires supervised visitation only

  • Parents who live far away from each other

  • Parents who cannot communicate well

  • Parents who struggle to be flexible with last-minute changes 

Parents who are considering adding the right of first refusal to their divorce decree or Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) should consider whether the potential benefits outweigh any potential negatives. If the right of first refusal clause requires parents to contact each other when either of them cannot be in possession of the child for any period of time, the right of first refusal can quickly become an irritating and burdensome clause. Generally speaking, the more tailored and detailed the parenting plan can be, the less likely there will be opportunities for conflict later on. 

Contact a Tarrant County Child Custody Lawyer

When you want to maximize your time with your child, include the right of first refusal in your Texas parenting plan by enlisting the experienced assistance of Hurst child custody attorney Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C.. We will work hard to protect your relationship with your child and your child’s best interests. Call us today at 817-498-4105 to schedule a complimentary consultation. 



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