Should your custody plan have a refusal clause?

Griffin Law, PLLC
Oct 29, 2022

Sharing custody of children after a divorce can be difficult. After all, according to Psychology Today, parents typically have one of four distinct parenting styles. If your parenting style differs from your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s approach, you may be in for some headbutting.

It is not uncommon for parents who share custody to disagree about childcare. If you worry your co-parent might leave your kids with someone you detest, putting a refusal clause into your custody plan probably makes a great deal of sense.

Maintaining some control

During his or her parenting time, your co-parent will be free to make a variety of child-associated decisions, including picking a babysitter. If you want to keep some control over the decision, a refusal clause can help.

Refusal clauses require each co-parent to offer the other the opportunity to babysit. If your co-parent has to work, leave town or otherwise take time away from the kids during his or her parenting time, he or she must ask you to babysit. Only after you refuse can your co-parent reach out to someone else.

Expanding your parenting time

While keeping control over your children’s care is likely your top priority, refusal clauses have another obvious benefit. Specifically, if you agree to babysit, you are likely to get to spend even more time with your kids.

The optimal time to negotiate and finalize a refusal clause is when you are working on your custody plan. Ultimately, if you can get your co-parent to agree, having a refusal clause in your agreement can minimize future conflicts over childcare.

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