South Bend / Mishawaka, IN – It gets complicated when two parties end their relationship. It becomes even more difficult when they have children together. It is best for children if the parents are able to come to an amicable solution regarding custody and parenting time with their children. The Indiana Supreme Court adopted the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, which work under the notion it is ideal for the child(ren) to have frequent, meaningful and ongoing contact with both parents.
The Guidelines are intended to denote minimum time a non-custodial parent should spend with their child(ren) when the parties are unable to come to an agreement on their own. Parents should not consider the Guidelines a limitation on time a parent may spend with a child. The parties are free to, and a Court may order, additional or reduced parenting time which differ from the Guidelines.
Subject to exceptions, parenting time includes overnights. The Guidelines provide for a broad parenting time schedule, broken down by age. During infancy, the Guidelines generally provide for 3 non-consecutive days per week, of at least 2 hours per visit (increasing as the child’s age increases). When a child turns 3 years old, the Guidelines enumerate the following schedule:
Regular Parenting Time
- On alternating weekends from Friday at 6:00 P.M. until Sunday at 6:00 P.M. (the times may change to fit the parents’ schedules);
- One (1) evening per week, preferably in mid-week, for a period of up to four hours but the child shall be returned no later than 9:00 p.m; and,
- On all scheduled holidays.
The Guidelines also assist parents in working out scheduling when it comes to special times, such as holidays and school breaks.
When parents are divorcing or are involved in a paternity action, it is important that each parent read and become familiar with the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. The Guidelines will assist in giving each party guidance on what is considered (generally) minimum visitation by a parent who is the not the primary custodian. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are published online by the Indiana Judiciary at the following website:
The content of this article is for informational purposes only, and does not contain, nor should be construed as containing, legal advice.