Justices adopt changes to parenting time guidelines

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The Indiana Supreme Court has issued a 33-page order that spells out the changes to the state’s parenting time rule and guidelines. The amendments take effect March 1, 2013.

Parenting time orders in effect on the date of the adoption of these amendments will be enforced according to the guidelines in effect on the date the parenting time order was issued; however, parents who agree that current changes to the guidelines are in their child’s best interest may file a written agreement with the court for approval.

The amended guidelines include updates regarding electronic communication and additional commentary on communication between a parent and child, which includes video chat and Skype.

A commentary to the Changes in Scheduled Parenting Time section outlines unacceptable excuses for denying parenting time, including the child has a minor illness or is not home.

Other amendments include:

  • Each parent is responsible for establishing a relationship with the child’s school, health care provider or other service provider;
  • If a non-custodial parent hasn’t previously exercised regular care responsibilities for the child, then parenting time shall not include overnights prior to the child’s third birthday, with some exceptions; and
  • If a parent misses a regular weekend because it is the other parent’s holiday, it will be lost. If a parent receives two consecutive weekends because of a holiday, that parent shall have the third weekend also. Regular alternating weekends shall continue throughout the year.

The guidelines also define when holidays and school breaks begin and end, as well as provide information on parallel parenting.

This order replaces one issued Dec. 18, 2012, by the court.



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