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Indiana Introduces New Parenting Time Guidelines

Indiana’s new parenting time guidelines became effective on January 1, 2022. The changes represent significant revisions to the old guidelines, including adding a new section to promote the idea of shared parenting, addressing public health emergencies and introducing a new approach to parenting time schedules. If you are wondering how the new guidelines might affect your child custody case, the attorneys at Cross Glazier Reed Burroughs, PC, can walk you through it. Many of our attorneys have been practicing family law for decades and are prepared to answer your questions regarding all aspects of child custody.

Understanding The Principles Of Shared Parenting

For quite some time, many states have moved toward the idea that children often do better when they have a strong relationship with both parents. Many studies have supported this concept, and courts have started to put the idea into practice. Indiana’s new guidelines strengthen the premise that a child should have frequent, ongoing and meaningful contact with each parent.

Shared parenting is much more collaborative. It encourages parents to communicate and work together to achieve the best outcome for the child. It broadens the focus beyond just the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

This may be difficult for some parents who are in a high-conflict relationship or are not suited to shared parenting for other reasons. Therefore, the court will not require every family to engage in shared parenting. In some situations, the court will recommend other arrangements. At other times, the court could consider the use of parent coordinator to achieve the best result.

New Guidelines For Parenting In A Public Health Emergency

Everyone involved in family law has learned much from the pandemic over the past couple of years. The law has now incorporated those lessons into new guidelines regarding parenting time and custody during a public health emergency. Highlights include:

  • School
  • Transportation
  • Child support payments
  • Changes in parenting time or custody

Parenting Time Schedules Are Still At The Core Of The Guidelines

Much of the guidelines still center around parenting time schedules. These schedules are tiered based on a child’s age. The main difference is that the guidelines now reflect the shared parenting model. For example, the new guidelines discuss:

  • Limitations on makeup time for missed parenting time
  • Uniform rules for holidays and school calendars
  • Guidelines for transportation for exchanges
  • Exchanging important information
  • Both parents should be present at an exchange as much as possible rather than involving third parties

These are just a few of the many topics that the new guidelines address. In addition, the guidelines now recognize newer technology, such as texting and video calling for children and parents. These can impact the way a child is able to communicate with a parent but may also create issues with screen time rules. The guidelines emphasize that a child has a right to communicate with the other parent.

Do You Have Questions About The New Guidelines?

We are happy to discuss these changes with you and how they may or may not affect your own custody and parenting plan arrangements. You may contact our Carmel office at 317-669-9134 or toll-free at 800-461-7459 or reach out online to schedule an appointment.