The Indiana Supreme Court has adopted the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines as a tool to assist with developing a plan for “frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with each parent”, with the first Guidelines going into effect on March 31, 2001. Since the initial Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines were adopted and became effective in 2001, they have been reviewed and revised on two occasions, which became effective January 1, 2008, and March 1, 2013.
Prior to the implementation of Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTG), some individual counties made their own parenting time guidelines, which they incorporated into their orders for parenting time (previously referred to as visitation time). For instance, Marion County had its own parenting time plan for regular, holiday and extended parenting time. It was similar to the current IPTG’s, but not as detailed on the general matters including communication, additional parenting time opportunities, and other parent issues beyond the specific dates and times for parenting time. Also the younger child parenting time, was not broken down as they currently are for infants and children younger than the age of three.
So, which IPTG’s pertain to a particular case? It depends upon the following: 1) if the IPTG’s were incorporated into an order, then they are what control the parenting time. 2) Depending upon when the Order was issued, will determine which of the IPTG’s will be applicable. For example, an Order issued prior to March 1, 2013, unless it specifically states to follow the March 1, 2013 IPTG’s, would follow the prior IPTG’s which were effective January 1, 2008. 3) Unless the Order has been amended by written agreement and ordered by the Court to follow the most current IPTG’s or a subsequent Order of the Court has been issued after March 1, 2013 pertaining to the IPTG’s, then the IPTG’s in place at the time of the currently effective Order are the ones that would control the parenting time.
There has been confusion as to which IPTG’s may apply in a situation, but they do not change unless there has been an amended order of the Court to follow the updated IPTG’s or agreement and order by the Court to follow the updated IPTG’s. Predominately, the IPTG’s have been modified to reduce conflicts in schedules and to account for balanced school calendars which have affected extended summer parenting time.
We hope that this post has been informative about the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines and how they apply generally. This is not intended to be legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post was written by attorney, Julie Dixon.