January 18, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Thanks to a new child custody law that went into effect on January 1, 2014, Illinois parents who have joint custody and want to spend more time with their child may get the chance should the other parent need a baby-sitter.
Specifically, the new law states that when an Illinois court awards joint custody
of a child, or visitation rights, the court may also give either parent the "right of first refusal" to provide child care should one of the parents need help during his or her regularly scheduled parenting time. In essence, this means that a parent cannot simply hire a substitute baby-sitter or childcare provider should one be needed for a significant amount of time - he or she must first offer the opportunity to other parent.
For example, a court may award the right of first refusal to Illinois parents with a joint custody arrangement in which the mother has custody of a child on weekdays and the father on weekends. Accordingly, if the mother needs substitute childcare assistance during the workweek, she will have to first ask the father if he wants to take care of the child before she can make other arrangements.
While the new Illinois custody law (750 ILCS 5/602.3
) does permit parents to establish their own parameters regarding this right of first refusal - so long as they are consistent with the best interests of the child - the court can step in if the parents fail to reach an agreement. In these instances, in addition to promoting and protecting the best interests of the child, the court must establish procedures pertaining to:
- The length and type of childcare that will trigger the right of refusal
- The proper notification of childcare needs to the other parent, and requirements for his or her response
- The transportation requirements
Legal assistance is available if needed
However, it is important to note that this recently created right of first refusal is only one of many considerations that a parent must take into account when involved in child custody disputes. After all, the right of refusal may be less significant if a parent obtains his or her desired child custody arrangement in the first place.
Consequently, if you are currently involved in an Illinois child custody dispute, it is important to contact a knowledgeable family law attorney. A skilled attorney will not only be aware of all newly created laws, but will also be able to help ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire process.
Article provided by Schlesinger & Strauss, LLC
Visit us at www.illinois-family-lawyer.com