Indiana has adopted parenting time guidelines. To ensure consistent rulings from case to case the legislature adopted these guidelines.The courts are not bound to follow these guidelines. However, if the court elects not to follow the guidelines, it must explain its reasons for doing so. Generally, the guidelines try to alternate weekends and allow at least one evening or overnight during the week for the noncustodial parent. They also provide for alternating major holidays and dividing the summer. The guidelines are very specific as to when parenting time is to begin and end. The guidelines are to be considered a minimum amount of time for parenting time for the noncustodial parent. The parenting time guidelines in Indiana also provide for the noncustodial parent caring for the child if the custodial parent is unable to do so.
Once parenting time has been established, any parent wishing to modify the parenting time arrangement is required to show a substantial change in circumstances that renders the schedule no longer in the best interest of the child or children before they should be changed. Such changes can include: changes in the work schedule of the parents, increase in age of the child, or the relocation of the residence of either the child or the noncustodial parent.
When the child is an infant, the noncustodial parents parenting time is for short periods of time, but frequently. For instance, when the child is an infant the noncustodial parent may only see the child two or three times a week for two to three hours. As the child gets older, the parenting time gets longer. If the noncustodial parent has had overnight responsibilities with an infant, the court may, at its discretion, allow the noncustodial parent to care for the child overnight.
The court is not to restrict and noncustodial parent’s parenting time unless it determines that the parenting time might endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development. In those cases, the court can require supervision of the parenting time of the noncustodial parent.
The Law Offices of Steven K Deig, LLC have a great deal of experience in representing the individuals regarding custody matters and would be pleased for the opportunity to discuss the subject with you.