What is a "right of first refusal"?
Kahn and Richardson - Tuesday, May 12, 2015
A right of first refusal is a contractual right that can be found in many areas of the law, including divorce and, particularly, custody matters. In that context, a right of first refusal included in a Separation Agreement, Custody Order or Judgment of Divorce, generally requires a parent who is scheduled to have parenting time with a child to give the other parent the option to be with the child in the parent's absence before using the childcare services of a third party, such as a babysitter, daycare facility, friend or relative. This option is given "first" to the parent, who may then "refuse" or accept. While the parent given this option may not be able to care for the child in every such instance, the right of first refusal offers him or her the opportunity. It is almost always deemed preferable for an available parent, rather than someone else, to care for a child.