Something that we hear often between parents is that when the other parent is supposed to be watching the minor child(ren) they are not; the child(ren) is with relatives, neighbors or in some kind of child care. When drafting an Allocation Judgment, I always inform my clients that they should include a right of first refusal clause. I have listed the statue that guides this provision below but essentially what this provision does is require the parent whom the child(ren) is supposed to be in the care of to offer parenting time to the other parent if the minor child(ren) is to be placed in some alternative care other than the parent for a significant period of time. It is important that a “significant period of time” is clear as to what amount of time that is and possibly what alternative care means. As the child(ren) may have a set time that they are in pre-school or some other developmental program that should not be accounted for in this section.
This clause can be beneficial as it allows both parents to have the maximum time with the child(ren) as possible.