What Is Ordinary Parenting Time in Indiana?

What Is Ordinary Parenting Time in Indiana?

Ordinary parenting time is parenting time that strictly follows the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. While the guidelines were created as a model for courts and parents to work from when creating a parenting time plan, the specific days and times outlined for parenting time are often followed by the court when other plans are not found to be appropriate under the circumstances. This blog discusses ordinary parenting time as considered by the Guidelines and when and how courts may deviate from the Guidelines. 

Ordinary, or regular, parenting time differs throughout the child’s formative years. Our courts have recognized that parenting a young child is very different from parenting a teenager, and the Guidelines account for that. Once a child is 3 years old, regular parenting time includes every other weekend from 6:00 p.m. Friday to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, and one week-day evening per week for four hours, with the child being returned no later than 9:00 p.m. This week-day parenting time is most often on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Ordinary parenting time also includes all scheduled holidays. The Guidelines discuss the holiday schedule in Section II(F)(2)

Extended parenting time is generally considered a part of ordinary parenting time. For children ages 3 to 4, this includes four weeks during the year, which are non-consecutive, and run from 6:00 p.m. on Sunday to 6:00 p.m. the following Sunday. When a child reaches 5 years of age, extended parenting time includes one-half of the child’s summer vacation from school. Summer vacation begins the day after school lets out for the summer and ends the day before school begins for the new school year. Summer parenting time may be taken all at once or divided into two extended visitations. 

The Guidelines are presumed to be applicable in all cases and represent the minimum amount of time that a non-custodial parent should spend with his or her child. However, there is a rebuttable presumption that while a non-custodial parent is entitled to reasonable parenting time, if the court finds that this might endanger the child’s physical health or impair his or her emotional development, it can deviate from the Guidelines. In these situations, the court may order less parenting time for the non-custodial parent, or prescribe that parenting time must be supervised.

The court may also find that an award of more than that minimum amount of parenting time described in the Guidelines is appropriate and in the child’s best interests. This generally only occurs when both parents are willing and able to effectively communicate with one another regarding all issues affecting the child, and cooperate in raising the child together, in two separate homes. The Guidelines refer to this as “two houses, one home”. Shared parenting plans such as this are only approved or ordered after careful consideration of the parent’s abilities to make the arrangement work and an assessment of the family situation, to determine if the parenting schedule is in the child’s best interests.

As you can see, even “ordinary” parenting time can be a complex issue involving many factors that need to be considered. If you are involved in a custody litigation, the attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. can help you determine the best parenting time schedule for your unique situation; and then work your case up for trial.

This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. It is for general educational purposes. The blog is not intended to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. The blog is not legal advice. This is an advertisement.


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