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Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines Recently Updated and Amended
Posted in Litigation

The Indiana Supreme Court recently amended the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTG). The amendments become effective on March 1, 2013. A complete copy of the amended rules, with redlining showing the changes, can be found here. The revised IPTG apply only to parenting time orders issued after the effective date of March 1, 2013. They will not apply retroactively to old parenting time orders automatically and would require a petition by one of the parties, or the filing of an agreement of the parties, adopting the new IPTG for their case.

Advanced planning and holidays

In the revisions, parents are encouraged to develop year-long calendars that determine, in advance, who will have parenting time and when for the entire year in order to better facilitate planning. The interplay between the alternating weekend schedule and the holiday schedule has been clarified so that the tempo of the alternating weekends is not affected by a holiday. Thus, either parent could conceivably have three consecutive weekends of parenting time when a holiday weekend falls in between two regular weekends. The beneficial simplification is that a parent who knows his or her first regular weekend in January can easily determine his or her regular weekends for the entire calendar year.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are no longer holidays; they will now fall as part of the regular Christmas break allocation. Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and Presidents Day weekend are added as holidays, from Friday at 6 p.m. to Monday at 7 p.m., if observed by the child’s school. Fall Break is also added as a new alternating holiday weekend, from two hours after the child finishes school until 7 p.m. the evening before school resumes.

Communication

Email addresses have been added to the list of contact information that parents should keep current and exchanged with each other. Facilitating communication between the child and the parent who is not exercising parenting time is underscored as an important expectation of the parent who is then exercising parenting time. Added importance is placed upon punctual parenting time exchanges; delays trigger makeup time to occur at the convenience of the non-delaying parent.

Parallel Parenting

Perhaps the largest substantive change is the addition of an entirely new section on “Parallel Parenting,” including a model Parallel Parenting order in the IPTG appendix. These orders are appropriate only in “high conflict” situations. There are numerous miscellaneous provisions designed to limit the need for communication between the parents. Midweek parenting time and makeup time are generally omitted, due to the higher level of communication required to schedule these. These orders are to be a handled with a 180-day periodic review by the court to determine if the Parallel Parenting order would benefit from modification, including to the regular IPTG schedule.

Additional parenting time

The so-called “right of first refusal” has been updated. The opportunity for additional parenting time is not triggered when a “responsible household family member” is available to care for the child. This term is defined as “an adult person residing in the household, who is related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption.”

If you have questions about how these amendments affect you or your family, please contact us.

To learn more about Michael Kohlhaas and his practice, visit his profile.

For a more in-depth look at the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, click here to download our handbook.

  • Partner

    Mike is a partner in Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP’s Estate Planning Department. The Estate Planning Department seamlessly coordinates and executes a wide array of legal services that cater to the unique needs of high ...

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