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Does your custody agreement need a right of first refusal clause?

Douglas County is a wonderful place to raise a family. Whether you are watching your kids play soccer at Stroh Ranch, hiking with them at Roxborough or heading downtown for a Rockies game, there is a seemingly endless number of possibilities for turning your young ones into well-rounded adults. If you must split custody of your children with a former spouse, you may desire to increase the time you have with your kids. 

With a well-drafted custody agreement or parenting plan, you know when you can plan to see your kids. Still, if your former partner regularly allows others to watch your children, both you and your kids may feel cheated. A right of first refusal clause in your custody agreement requires your ex-spouse to offer you the opportunity to care for your children first before asking someone else to do it. Here are some advantages of a right of first refusal provision: 

You maximize time with your kids 

Even though leaving your children with a friend, family member or babysitter may sit well with you, you may want to maximize time with your kids. With a right of first refusal clause, you may get to see your kids outside of your normal visitation time. 

You maintain some control 

Parenting in a post-divorce family can be challenging. If you do not trust your former spouse to find competent care for your kids in his or her absence, you maintain some agency with the inclusion of a right of first refusal clause in your custody agreement or parenting plan. 

You help your ex-spouse 

Parents seem to be busier these days than ever before. Still, both you and your former spouse must focus on raising good kids. If a co-parent is unable to watch the kids, you may want to lend a helping hand. A right of first refusal clause allows your ex-partner to ask for assistance when he or she has a conflict. Such a provision may be invaluable during summer months and other busy times. 

Custody agreements and parenting plans come in a variety of styles. What agreement is right for you likely depends on your family situation. Nonetheless, for many different reasons, adding a right of first refusal provision to your parenting plan or custody agreement may be a brilliant idea.

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