If an Indiana couple is divorced or separated with children, courts will typically use the state parenting guidelines to help determine parenting time (formerly referred to as visitation) for the parent who does not have primary custody of the child. In addition to helping with basic scheduling, these guidelines also help parents address the following:
- Transportation for children as they travel between homes.
- Method and frequency of communication between parents and between each parent and the child.
- Child’s extracurricular activities and social engagements.
- Procedure for modifying plans (e.g., switching weekends)
- Clothing and other necessities for child
In October 2021, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an order amending parenting time guidelines for the state of Indiana, effective as of January 1, 2022. Here are just a few things to look out for under the new guidelines:
- Shared parenting plan replaces parallel parenting plan.
- New online shared parenting calendar developed.
- Text and e-mail are included as forms of communication between parent and child.
- Exchanging child at restaurants and other public places is encouraged, while exchanges at police stations should be avoided.
- Factors listed for determining whether parenting time exceeding guideline amount should be granted.
- Make-up parenting time is allowed in certain circumstances (e.g., parental illness).
- Parents are advised on how to manage custody during public health emergency.
- Notice of relocation must be provided 30 days before move date.
- Holiday parenting time guidelines were updated.
Parents who already have an existing parenting time order in place, as well as parents currently involved in the child custody determination process, are advised to contact a family law attorney to discuss how these changes may affect you and your family.