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What is the right of first refusal for parenting plans?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Family Law

The right of first refusal (ROFR) is a clause Minnesota parents can include in a parenting plan. It allows a parent who is unable to care for their child during their scheduled parenting time to offer the other parent the opportunity to care for the child instead.

In other words, it gives the other parent the “first right” to step in and take care of the child before any other arrangements might occur.

How does it work?

Children make up about 23.6% of the population in Rochester, and many need supervision during the day and night.

Suppose Parent A has scheduled parenting time with the child but has an overnight work obligation that overlaps with that time. According to the ROFR clause, if the conflict lasts a certain amount of time (such as four hours or more), Parent A must first offer Parent B the chance to spend time with the child before seeking alternative childcare arrangements. If Parent B declines or is unable to take on the care of the child during that time, Parent A can then make other arrangements.

Why is it important?

The ROFR clause serves several important purposes in a parenting plan.

  • Consistency: By allowing the other parent the first opportunity to care for the child, the ROFR clause promotes consistency in the child’s schedule and relationships
  • Cooperation: It encourages parents to cooperate and communicate about their children’s care
  • Parental Involvement: The ROFR clause prioritizes the involvement of both parents in their children’s lives
  • Child Safety: It provides an additional layer of security by ensuring that the child is in the care of a familiar and trusted parent whenever possible

The ROFR clause aims to protect the well-being of the children involved. It may not be right for every set of co-parents but has many potential benefits.