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Parallel parenting provision divides COA

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In reversing a trial court’s modification of the custody agreement even though neither parent requested a change in custody, the Indiana Court of Appeals split over how much discretion a Parallel Parenting Time Order grants a court.

The Fulton Circuit Court gave joint physical and legal custody to Shelly Bailey and her ex-husband Lance Bailey after the pair had traded contempt petitions and Shelly Bailey petitioned to restrict Lance Bailey’s visitation.

On appeal, Shelly Bailey charged the trial court should not have modified physical custody because neither party made such a request.

The Court of Appeals agreed, finding although Shelly Bailey agreed that the trial court could enter a Parallel Parenting Time Order, that was not a concession that the lower court could modify the children’s physical custody. Neither parent filed a petition requesting a change in custody and neither party presented any arguments for changing custody arrangements.

“Most importantly for purposes of this case, nothing in the new Parallel Parenting provision demonstrates any intent that it should affect the amount of parenting time awarded, except for possible elimination of mid week parenting time, makeup parenting time, and opportunities for additional parenting time that appear elsewhere in the Parenting Time Guidelines,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the majority in Shelly Bailey v. Lance Bailey, 25A04-1309-DR-452.

In his dissent, Judge John Baker asserted the Parallel Parenting provision would affect the amount of parenting time by reducing the father’s visitation. He also pointed to the instructions accompanying the Parallel Parenting Time Orders that the best interests of the children are paramount and the court recognize one parent could create a high-conflict situation.
 
Baker contended the trial court was trying to satisfy the best interests of the children as well as prevent further destructive behavior.
 
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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