The Indiana Supreme Court has recently approved the long awaited revisions to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTG). The new IPTG go into effect March 1, 2013 and will not retroactively modify existing parenting time orders. Instead, parties wanting to follow the new IPTG must file a written agreement with the court or petition to the court for an order adopting the new IPTG.
The changes set forth in the new IPTG are numerous and substantial and cannot all be addressed here. However, some of the most significant changes include but are not limited to:
Holiday parenting time has been extended to include Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Days and Fall Break in the list of holidays. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are no longer considered separate holidays but are now considered part of Christmas Vacation. Christmas Vacation has been redefined, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day parenting time has been modified.
Alternating weekends shall now be maintained throughout the year. This may result in a parent having three (3) consecutive weekends of parenting time due to a holiday.
The new IPTG define "High Conflict Parents" as those "parties who demonstrate a pattern of ongoing litigation, chronic anger and distrust, inability to communicate about and cooperate in the care of the child, or other behaviors placing the child's well-being at risk." In these situations, the new IPTG suggest a deviation from the regular parenting time guidelines and the institution of a Parallel Parenting schedule. While not a permanent arrangement, a Parallel Parenting schedule allows each parent to make day-to-day decisions about the child while the child is with the parent and works to limit communications between the parents.
Our Family Law and Adoption practice group will continue to monitor these recent changes to the IPTG. If you have questions on this issue or any other Family Law and Adoption issues, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.