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Kohlhaas: Notable changes to Indiana’s Parenting Time Guidelines

July 17, 2013
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By Michael Kohlhaas

Earlier this year, the Indiana Supreme Court amended the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. The IPTG amendments became effective on March 1. A complete copy of the amended rules, with redlining showing the revisions, can be found at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-rules-2013-0107-parenting.pdf

The notable changes include:

1. Applicability. First, the revised IPTG apply only to parenting time orders issued AFTER the March 1, 2013, effective date. The revised IPTG will not apply retroactively to old parenting time orders automatically.

2. Annual schedule. To facilitate planning, parents are now encouraged to develop year-long calendars that determine in advance who will have parenting time, and when, for the entire year. See Preamble B at Commentary 3.

3. Findings. A trial court’s decision to give a parent more than IPTG time does not require written findings, but giving a parent less than IPTG time does require written findings. See Preamble C(3).

4. Email. Email addresses have been added to the list of contact information that parents should keep current and exchange with each other. See Section I(A)(1).

5. Communication with the child. Facilitating communication between the child and the parent not exercising parenting time is underscored as an important expectation of the parent who is then exercising parenting time. See Section I(A)(7).

6. Punctual exchanges. Added importance is placed upon punctual parenting time exchanges; delays trigger make-up time to occur at the convenience of the parent not responsible for the delay. See Section I(B)(2).

7. Opportunities for additional parenting time. The so-called “right of first refusal” language now essentially codifies the Shelton case (Shelton v. Shelton, 840 N.E.2d 835 (Ind. 2006)). Specifically, the opportunity for additional parenting time is not triggered when a “responsible household family member” is available to care for the child and, further, this term is defined as “an adult person residing in the household, who is related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption.” See Section I(C)(3). Note also that new language in the commentary discourages use of the term “right of first refusal” in favor of “opportunity to exercise additional parenting time.”

8. Medical instructions. Medical instructions related to a child must be followed by the non-custodial parent. See Section I(D)(4).

9. Young children. For very young children, there is new language recommending overnights only when the non-custodial parent has previously exercised regular care responsibilities. See Section II(B).

10. Summer parenting time. Summer parenting time selection notice (still by April 1) should be given “in writing and verbally.” And, employer-imposed restrictions on either parent’s schedule should be considered by both parents in fashioning the summer schedule. See Section II(D)(3). Also, there is new language for children who have year-round or “balanced calendars” whereby the parents shall equally divide the child’s fall and spring school breaks.

11. Regular schedule versus holidays. The interplay between the alternating weekend schedule and the holiday schedule has been clarified: the tempo of the alternating weekends is not affected by a holiday. See Section II(F)(1). Thus, either parent could conceivably have three consecutive weekends of parenting time when a holiday weekend falls in between two regular weekends. The benefit of this clarification is that a parent who knows the first regular weekend in January can easily determine the regular alternating weekends for the entire calendar year.

12. New Year’s Eve/Day deleted. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are no longer holidays. See Section II(F)(2)(B). They will now fall as part of the regular Christmas break allocation.

13. Birthdays trumped by holidays. Children’s birthdays and a parent’s birthday continue to be a “special day.” However, in the event of a conflict with another special day, holiday or Christmas vacation, the birthday will not take precedence over the other special day, holiday or Christmas vacation. See Section II(F)(2)(A)(5).

14. Christmas break. The particular start and end times of Christmas break are revised slightly, but the same concept of alternating the first half and second half of the break (with the parent not having Christmas Day to have the child from noon to 9 p.m. on Dec. 25) remains the same. See Section II(F)(2)(B).

15. MLK and Presidents Day weekends added. Martin Luther King Jr. 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. See Section II(F)(2)(C).

16. Fall break added. 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. See Section II(F)(2)(C).

17. Holiday schedule expressly alternates. The holiday schedule is clarified that it is alternated in years between the non-custodial parent and the custodial parent. See Section II(F)(2)(C). (The prior version of the IPTG allocated holidays only to the non-custodial parent, leaving a potential ambiguity about whether the custodial parent was awarded those same holiday periods in the alternating years.)

18. “Parallel parenting schedule.” The revised IPTG adds an entirely new section on “parallel parenting,” including a model parallel parenting order in the IPTG appendix. See Section IV. These orders are appropriate only in “high conflict” situations. There are numerous miscellaneous provisions designed to limit the need for communication between the parents. Mid-week parenting time and make-up time are generally omitted due to the higher level of communication required to schedule these. These orders are to be 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.•

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Michael Kohlhaas is a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP. He concentrates his practice in a variety of personal representations, including the areas of matrimonial law and wealth transfer planning. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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