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Salt Lake City – Ogden – Lehi

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Right of first refusal in Utah child custody

When Utah parents decide they no longer wish to be together and start moving toward the divorce process, there can be a lot of new terms to learn. The divorce process can be complicated, especially if children are involved.

One term that may be new to divorced parents is the right of first refusal. Parents may be wondering what the right of first refusal is and how it can affect them.

What is the right of first refusal?

The right of first refusal is an aspect of Utah law that gives a parent the right to care for their children if the other parent is not available. Reasons that a parent may not be available may include work, appointments, etc. If a parent would like to hire a babysitter, daycare, or any other surrogate caregiver to watch the children, they would first need to offer the other parent an opportunity to care for the children.

A child custody agreement often includes a right of first refusal clause. Usually, it takes effect 3 to 4 hours after a parent will be gone. This means that a parent doesn’t need to notify the other for quick errands.

The court believes that the parents should be providing as much care for their children as possible. The right of first refusal:

  1. Requires a parent to notify the other parent if they are going to be away from the children for a certain amount of time; and
  2. Allows the other parent a chance to provide care for the children before the children are left with a babysitter, in daycare, with grandparents, or with other surrogate care.

It is important for divorced parents to understand how child custody works in Utah and how the right of first refusal can affect themselves and, more importantly, their children. To speak with an attorney about the right of first refusal or any other child custody issue, please call Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates at 801-475-8800.

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