Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines

In Indiana, child visitation is referred to as “parenting time,” and Indiana has adopted Parenting Time Guidelines that apply to parenting time matters, such as visits to the non-custodial parent.  The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are based on the premise that “it is usually in a child’s best interest to have frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with each parent.”  As a result, the Parenting Time Guidelines favor time for the children with both parents.

The Parenting Time Guidelines cover a wide range of issues concerning how parenting time should be divided based on a number of considerations, such as:

  • the needs of the child,
  • the age of the child,
  • physical custody,
  • holidays, and
  • factors that may affect a parent’s availability and ability to provide quality parenting.

The Parenting Time Guidelines specify that “[t]he parents shall make every effort to establish a reasonable parenting time schedule.”  In most circumstances, both parents (and their children) are best served when the parents can reach a mutually beneficial agreement for parenting time schedules.

Unfortunately, in some situations parents, by themselves, are not able to agree on parenting time schedules.  When a mutually beneficial arrangement cannot be reached, our firm often represents a parent in working with opposing counsel to develop a parenting plan that will be agreeable to both parties.

Often, through creative and innovative solutions, we are able to develop such a plan.  However, if an agreeable plan cannot be developed, we will represent our client in mediation and/or in court to further the interests of our client and his or her children.

When should parenting time be limited?

A parent’s parenting time may be limited in a number of situations, such as if the parent is physically or emotionally abusive, is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if some other similarly adverse condition exists.  In these situations, if the welfare of a child is in danger, you should contact the police or Department of Child Services immediately.   Then consider contacting our firm so that we can determine what other actions should be taken.

Parenting time issues are best addressed in the context of a divorce, if possible.

There may be a temptation to simply get a divorce finalized as soon as possible and worry about parenting time issues later, particularly if there is still an amicable relationship between the spouses.  This usually is not the ideal way to handle parenting time.

After the divorce, things will change.  Dating and other changes may occur.  Former  spouses typically grow apart.  For many reasons, it’s best to create a detailed parenting plan during the divorce process while both parties are confronting property division and other aspects of the divorce, rather than waiting until later.

If you are going through a divorce or need legal help for parenting time issues, please call our firm.

We can meet with you to learn about your circumstances, and explain about how we can represent you in helping to achieve your parenting time goals.

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