While collaborative divorces are on the rise in Florida, ending a marriage is usually neither stress-free nor simple. If you share children with your former spouse, though, you may worry about losing control over who watches your kids after your divorce.
A comprehensive custody agreement or parenting plan may help address your concerns. If you plan to share custody of your kids with your former spouse, though, you likely must defer to his or her parenting decisions. Still, you may be able to keep some control by including a right of first refusal clause in your custody agreement.
You have an option to care for your kids
If your ex-spouse has a conflict, a right of first refusal provision requires him or her to offer you the chance to watch your kids. That is, if your former partner cannot stick to the custody schedule for some reason, you have the option to have custody of your kids before your ex-spouse chooses someone else to care for them. If you do not like your ex’s friends, family members or daycare service, you can opt to watch your children instead.
You must negotiate a right of first refusal clause
If your custody agreement or parenting plan does not have a right of first refusal clause, your ex-spouse can likely choose who watches your children in his or her absence. Waiting until your former spouse has a conflict, though, is probably not a good idea. Instead, you may want to negotiate a right of first refusal clause when you are drafting the rest of the agreement.
A right of first refusal provision is not necessary for all parents who share custody of their kids. Nonetheless, if your ex-spouse regularly travels, you may not want to leave the care of your kids to chance. With a right of first refusal clause, you keep some control over who watches the young ones in your life.