Men should consider protecting the right of first refusal
As previously discussed on this blog, in Nebraska, lawmakers and judges alike prefer not to set out standard parenting plans but to create one that meets a family's unique circumstances. While, ideally, the parents themselves manage to negotiate a parenting plan, the court is able to create one for the parties if they cannot agree.
In either case, though, what is in the parenting plan will determine a father's rights and responsibilities on a number of matters, including all significant issues relating to the raising of his children. The parenting plan will also specify when the father can expect to have the children with him.
One thing a man may want consider putting in to his parenting plan is language that grants a right of first refusal. In the world of family law, a right of first refusal means that, when one parent needs childcare during her parenting time, then she must first offer the opportunity to watch the kids to the other parent.
The details of when and to what extent the right of first refusal applies will need to appear in the parenting plan so as to avoid any confusion or conflict. For example, the parents will need to address at what point a parent is truly in need of childcare as opposed to just someone to mind the children while he runs a quick errand. To address these cases, some parenting plans may specify that the right of first refusal only applies if a parent needs at least, say, 1 hour of childcare.
The details of the right of first refusal may need to be discussed with an experienced Nebraska family law attorney, but Omaha men should look at it as a means of getting more time to work on their relationship with their kids.