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New Custody Law: Right of First Refusal 2016

New Illinois Custody Law Provides Right of First Refusal 2016

P16ER AMENDED CUSTODY LAW 750 ILCS5/602.3

This blog is focused on the new custody law enacted in the state of Illinois, affecting divorce cases in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and all other areas in Illinois.  This law went into effect on January 1, 2016 and has many significant amendments that were not part of the old custody law.

Other Parent First Contacted for Help with Child Care, Before Other Babysitting Options
 

Section 602.3 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act now provides for Right of First Refusal with regard to joint custody situations.  Right of First Refusal generally speaking allows a parent the first option in care for a minor child if the parent with scheduled parenting time cannot care for the child as a result of that parent’s schedule.  Thus rather than obtaining day care the parent with the scheduled parenting time would have to reach out to the other parent to see if that parent can watch the child while the other parent is absent.

Under Subsection (a) of the newly amended act:

“If the court awards parenting time to both parents under Section 602.7 or 602.8, the court may consider consistent with the best interests of the minor child as defined in Section 602.7, whether to award to one or both of the parties the right of first refusal to provide child care for the minor child or children during the other parent’s normal parenting time, unless the need for child care is attributable to an emergency.”

This is a significant improvement over the old law which did not address, Right of First Refusal in any meaningful way.  This will allow parents the opportunity to be contacted first, opposed to day care, baby sitters, or other child care providers for purposes of watching the minor children.

The next blog will look closer at the Right of First Refusal and the conditions that must be met in order to allow for same.


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