The “right of first refusal” in Massachusetts family law cases is a courtordered right between the parents, that provides “Parent A” the option to care for a child during “Parent B’s” designated time, when “Parent A” is otherwise unavailable.
This means the child is in the care of their own parent instead of placing that child into the care of a third-party provider. It also avoids paying for the cost of the third party care provider.
The theory behind the “right of first refusal” is that each parent’s time with their child is more important than that child’s time spent with a third party. It is in line with the current tenure of the Massachusetts Family Courts to promote frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
The following is an example of a typical order granting the parents a “right of first refusal”:
“If either parent will be unavailable to the children for more than 12 hours or overnight, that parent shall notify the other parent 24 hours in advance and provide the other parent with the opportunity to care for the children during the period of time that the custodial parent will be unavailable. If the other parent is not available or cannot exercise this right of first refusal, the custodial parent shall be responsible for arranging for the necessary child care for the child.”
Every case is unique and every Massachusetts family is different. What is important is that your “right of first refusal” fits your family and your family’s needs.
This could include special exceptions for military service, work related activities/travel, differences for weekday or weekend absences, or options to include grandparents or step-parents to provide care.
No matter what the needs of your family may be, the Law Offices of Renee Lazar have the knowledge and experience to draft a detailed and tailored parenting plan.
Feel free to contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse or involved in a paternity action or have questions regarding a parenting plan that suits your family.
Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 978-844-4095 or email to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.