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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
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Child Custody: First Right of Refusal Explained

Posted on in Child Custody and Visitation

Californian family law attorney, California custody lawyerWhen it comes to our children, we all strive to be the best parent we can be. We want the perfect house, a successful career, and to see our kids grow up to become self-sufficient and one day has a family of their own. These life goals do not stop once we divorce our spouse. Additionally, from a child’s point-of-view, the only thing they want is to know they are loved and supported by both parents, regardless of their feelings for each other. Based on this understanding, the first right of refusal is a clause found in many child custody arrangements.

What is the first right of refusal?

Whether it is for a 12-hour work shift or a night out with friends, not all parents have the ability to be with their children 24-hours a day, every single day. The First Right of Refusal (FROR) concept in California means that if one parent is unable to be with the child, the other parent is the first person contacted to watch the child. This right is afforded in the child custody agreement and is applicable to both planned and unplanned events. Parents utilizing this clause enjoy the benefits of:

  • The child is not put into the hands of a third-party, and
  • The parents save money on childcare services, such as a babysitter.

Potential Pitfalls

This right afforded to parents by California intends to encourage time spent as equally as possible with both parents. Parents have a strong influence on their children, enabling them to grow to be successful adults. If they are left with a third-party caregiver, the lessons learned may come from outside sources rather than from directly from the parents. While FROR increases the ability for both parents to enjoy time with their child, potential downfalls exist. These concerns include:

  • Allowing enough advanced notice,
  • Distance between households, and
  • Denial of the first call.

Get Your Questions Answered

California’s First Right of Refusal is not automatically given but is a clause that must be entered into the custody agreements. FROR is an option to enhance the arrangements by ensuring that the non-custodial parent gets ample opportunity and time with their child rather than the child being with a babysitter. The agreement can make a difficult custody battle easier and the right is as enforceable by law as the rest of the contract. If you are interested in discussing your options with an experienced and proven San Jose, CA child custody attorney, contact the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca today at 408-395-8822 to schedule your complimentary first consultation. Attorney Benita Ventresca has over 35 years of experience in the San Jose and Los Gatos area assisting families just like yours find long-term solutions for even the most delicate situations while putting family first in all situations.



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Los Gatos, CA 95030

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