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Right of first refusal may grant you more time with the kids

As a parent, you have a right to say what influential individuals play a regularly recurring role in your child's life. While this might be easy enough when you're still in a relationship with the other parent, it isn't as simple if you're divorced. You won't have much of a say about who your child is around when they're with your ex.

There is one way that you can work to prevent your child from being watched by parties other than your ex. You can have a right of first refusal clause put into the child custody documents. This means that your ex would have to give you the option to care for the children before they hire a babysitter or allow the children to spend time with a family member watching them. Just remember that if this clause is in the agreement, it works both ways so your ex would be granted the same privilege.

The right of first refusal is a viable option if you don't want the children to be babysat by random individuals. If you can't care for them for any reason, such as your ex approaching you at the last minute, your ex could still hire a sitter or leave them with someone else. When you can exercise this right, your children get more time with you, which is usually a good thing for them.

Communication is one of the keys to making this work. If you and your ex can lay the foundation for respectful communication and an open co-parenting relationship as early as possible, you may find the situation more tolerable.

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