Explaining the Right of First Refusal in a CA Child Custody Case

Pleasanton CA Child Custody attorneyIn many CA divorces, custody disputes continue to be one of the toughest issues to work through. For one, each parent might have a different perception or idea of how the other parent is doing. On top of parental preference, the CA family law courts always work to have both parents involved in the child’s life when possible. 

Usually, if both parents are willing to put their feelings aside and prioritize their children, the family law courts are able to assign shared custody with minimal issues. Unfortunately, this is a nearly ideal scenario, either due to hostilities or because one parent is unfit to care for the child, or a variety of other reasons. 

This potential for complications is one of the reasons that CA family law courts have implemented the Right of First Refusal. Today’s post is a look at what this right means, and how it can be utilized during your parenting plans if things get tough.

Defining the Right of First Refusal

When finalized, custody agreements are usually fairly clear on when each parent gets custody, what the visitation schedule looks like, and more. With the Right of First Refusal, this allows for some flexibility in an otherwise defined schedule. 

If unexpected circumstances arise and either parent is unable to stick to the schedule, the Right of First Refusal determines who gets priority over making a decision to shift the plan. In other words, the parent who has the Right of First Refusal must approve for any deviations or changes in the case that things may need to be modified. Usually, this clause only applies to unplanned or unexpected circumstances or situations. 

Potential Complications with the Right of First Refusal

Right of First Refusal clauses are especially important in divorces where tensions are high and parents are not amicable or cooperative towards one another. It can help simplify the decision-making hierarchy when parents are at a stand-still or can’t see eye to eye.

However, this type of clause is not perfect. In some cases, it could aggravate the situation further as one parent feels that the other has more “control” or autonomy over the situation. Furthermore, if both parents live far from each other, the Right of First Refusal becomes less relevant if either party is unable to swoop in and pick up or supervise a child unexpectedly at the last minute. 

In any case, its important to tailor your custody agreement and parenting plan to your specific needs. Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting on the right path from the onset and consult with a qualified family law attorney in CA before taking any next steps. 

Count on the legal experts at White Oak Law for all your family law needs in California. Call us today at 925-271-0999 to connect with our team of trusted legal professionals today.