Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Can We Include a Right of First Refusal Clause in Our Parenting Plan?

Posted on in Divorce

Novi child custody lawyerWhen a Michigan couple with minor children gets divorced, they must create an agreement about child support and child custody arrangements. While this sounds straightforward, in reality, issues regarding children are often the most challenging to address. Because each parent often feels as though they are the most qualified to care for the children, it is easy for parenting plan negotiations to devolve into power struggles that do not benefit anyone, least of all the children. 

But if parents can stay focused on the children’s best interests instead of their personal differences, they often find that there are many acceptable solutions that allow both parents to maximize parenting time with each child. One possible way to do this is by including a clause about a concept called the “right of first refusal.” To learn more about how this could benefit you, read on. 

What Does the Right of First Refusal Mean? 

When parents include the right of first refusal in their parenting plan, they obligate themselves to seek childcare from each other rather than third parties when they are unable to care for the children during their designated parenting time. Because the right of first refusal is not obligatory in Michigan parenting plans, parents can customize it however they want, coming up with specific details for how long each parent must be gone before the right of first refusal kicks in.

For example, parents who live close to each other and get along well may require the right of first refusal anytime they will be gone for three or more hours. Other parents may want to only trigger the right of first refusal if they must be gone for a full day or more. Whatever the time limits are, it is important to be specific so parents do not run afoul of the plan when they are only gone for very brief periods. 

When Is the Right of First Refusal Not Ideal? 

Families who have suffered from abuse or neglect at the hand of a parent will likely not want to include the right of first refusal. Likewise, when one parent is manipulative or mentally unwell, the right of first refusal may offer opportunities for conflict, confusion, and harassment, which can harm both the victimized parent and the children.

Call a Novi, MI Parenting Plan Lawyer Today 

While the right of first refusal can be a great addition to a parenting plan, it is not right for everyone. For help determining whether the right of first refusal would benefit you, contact the Novi, MI divorce attorneys with Elkouri Heath, PLC. We take a customized approach to every situation so you can make sure you get a parenting plan tailored to your circumstances. Call us today at 248-344-9700 to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation today. 




Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top