Illinois Right of First Refusal Legislation Goes to Governor
Last Wednesday, May 22, the Illinois Senate passed HB2992 unanimously. The bill had previously passed the House, also by a unanimous vote. Now the bill goes to Governor Quinn for signature. Championed by Illinois Fathers member Richard Lee Thomas, the bill provides statutory authority for judges to incorporate right of first refusal provisions into child custody orders.
At ACFC one of the more common complaints we hear from parents is that their children are being placed in daycare or farmed out to other people when the ‘other’ parent is available and wants to care for the children. In these situations the overarching theme seems to be “Anyone but me.” It’s one of the more frustrating situations parents endure.
The Right of First Refusal gives the ‘other’ parent first option to care for the children should the parent currently exercising parenting time need to leave the child in the care of another person for an extended period. Depending on the terms of the order, a parent has the first refusal option when the child is to be left in another’s care for anywhere from a few hours onward.
Every Illinois parent who wants more time with their children needs to have right of first refusal language incorporated into their child custody decrees. Illinois Fathers released this statement on passage of the bill.
Congratulations to ACFC affiliate, Illinois Fathers and Richard Lee Thomas for their outstanding effort in shepherding this bill through the legislature. Illinois Fathers has become very visible in the statehouse over the past number of years and is a leading voice for family law improvement efforts in the state. Thanks also go out to everyone who responded to our requests to fill out witness slips for the committee.
(pictured above L to R are: IF Robert Ferrar, ACFC Mike McCormick, IF Richard Lee Thomas, PAAO-USA/LW4SP Jill Egizii, Bill Sponsor Rep. Kelly Burke, and Mary Ann Manko.)