As family law matters progress, one of the first issues to be determined by the parties is parenting time/custody. In some instances, the parties can agree to or are ordered to have joint physical custody. Other times, one parent is granted sole physical custody pursuant to the other parent’s parenting time.
Parenting time is often granted, at a minimum, pursuant to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTGs)1. Generally, for older children, this includes midweek parenting time for a few hours and every other weekend for the parent exercising parenting time. The IPTGs are considered a minimum of parenting time, and if parties can agree to more or more parenting time is ordered by the Court, it can go beyond the midweek and every other weekend, up to equal time.
But, a parent’s parenting time can also be decreased or made to be supervised. However, what conditions must be met for a parent to get less or supervised parenting time? The Indiana Statutes provide that a noncustodial parent shall have reasonable parenting time unless parenting time might endanger the child’s physical health and well-being or significantly impair the child’s emotional development2. Additionally, the Court can Order a parent’s parenting time supervised if there is conviction of a crime involving domestic or family violence.3
For example, if Parent A is the custodial parent and Parent B receives parenting time pursuant to the IPTGs, but Parent A becomes concerned that Parent B is abusing drugs or suffering from a mental health condition that makes her unable to properly care for the child, Parent A might file a motion for supervised parenting time. A hearing would likely be held, where Parent A would attempt to provide evidence of Parent B’s drug abuse or mental health condition and that same was endangering the child’s physical health or well-being or impairing the child’s emotional development.
Parents have a fundamental right to raise their children as they see fit4, and unless conditions are met in which the Court Orders that a parent receive decreased, supervised, or suspended parenting time, both parents share this right, pursuant to their custody arrangements.
Knowing the boundaries of limiting parenting time can help determine the parenting time each parent receives in a custody or other family law matter. We hope that this blog post has been helpful in explaining the general requirements of limiting or supervising parenting time. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.