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Is the Right of First Refusal Included in Texas Child Custody Orders?

Posted on in Child custody

Tarrant County TX, Right of First Refusal Child CustodAddressing issues related to child custody is often one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce. Parents whose relationship has broken down are likely to disagree about various child-related issues, and reaching agreements on matters such as who will be responsible for making decisions for children and where children will live may not be easy. One issue that may need to be addressed in a child custody case is the right of first refusal. This may ensure that both parents will be able to spend sufficient time with children, but the parents may disagree about the terms that should be included in their child custody order. By understanding the options in these situations and the laws that may apply, parents can determine how to address the right of first refusal during divorce negotiations.

What Is the Right of First Refusal?

The right of first refusal is a clause included in some Texas child custody orders that requires parents to consult with each other in certain situations before leaving their child in the care of a babysitter or a friend or family member. That is, if the child is scheduled to stay with one parent at a certain day and time, and that parent will be unavailable, they will be required to contact the other parent to see if they are available to care for the child. Essentially, the other parent will have the right to refuse to provide care for the child before any other arrangements for child care may be made. This can ensure that a child will be in the care of a parent whenever possible, and it can relieve a parent's concerns about who is watching their child.

The purpose of the right of first refusal is to ensure that both parents have access to their children whenever possible without giving preferential treatment to either parent or to other parties such as grandparents. It can help parents work together to ensure that children receive the necessary care while maintaining good communication and being flexible when coming up with child care arrangements. It also helps minimize disruption in the lives of children by ensuring they are not shuffled between multiple caregivers when a parent is unavailable.

Is the Right of First Refusal Required in Texas?

The laws of the state of Texas do not use the term "right of first refusal," and they do not require parents to include these clauses in a child custody order. If parents wish to include the right of first refusal in their order, they must agree to do so. They may work together to determine the exact language that will be used, the situations where the right of first refusal will apply, and the steps parents will need to follow when determining how child care will be handled when one parent is unavailable.

Addressing Issues Related to the Right of First Refusal

The right of first refusal may be beneficial if parents are able to communicate with each other and compromise on certain issues. However, it may not be a good idea in cases where there has been a history of domestic violence, when parents do not live close to each other, or where the level of antagonism between parents makes it difficult for them to speak to each other and work together to ensure their children's needs are being met.

When determining the specific terms related to the right of first refusal that will be included in a child custody agreement, parents will need to make sure they both understand the circumstances in which this right will apply. For example, they may decide that a parent's unavailability for at least 12 hours will invoke the right of first refusal, and they may agree that the parents will contact each other by phone in this situation and that the parent who will care for the children will pick them up at the other parent's home. Being clear and specific can help reduce confusion for parents and ensure that children understand when they will spend time with each parent.

Contact Our Hurst Child Custody Lawyer

If you are a parent who is getting divorced, and you want to include the right of first refusal in your child custody agreement, Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C. can help you address this issue along with other factors that affect your children's best interests. We will work with you to negotiate a child custody agreement that will meet your family's needs. Contact our Tarrant County family law attorney today at 817-498-4105 to set up a free consultation.


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