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Changes to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines

by | Feb 23, 2022 | Family Law

The Indiana Supreme Court approved changes to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (“IPTG”), effective January 1, 2022.  The 2022 IPTG may be found here.  Mallor Grodner has hard copies of the 2022 IPTG available to any new or existing clients, upon request.

If you have a current order that incorporates the IPTG… please note that your parenting time order will continue to be enforced pursuant to the IPTG which were in effect on the date of your order.  The court may order the new 2022 IPTG to apply to your case, or you and your co-parent may agree to apply the 2022 IPTG.  However, the change is not automatic.  The most noteworthy changes to the 2022 IPTG are outlined below.

  • Online calendaring tool. An online calendaring tool is available for parents and practitioners at the following link: https://public.courts.in.gov/PTC/#/terms.  The tool has some limitations.  For example, the default setting is the minimum parenting time schedule provided by the IPTG.  This tool likely will be improved upon in the upcoming months (or years), but at the very least, parents may find the default school calendaring settings very helpful in developing individualized parenting plans.
  • Communication. Communication between parent and child now includes contact via text or email, not just via telephone, and recording conversations is prohibited.  While a parent may restrict access from a telephone, tablet, or other device used for communication with the other parent, such punishment shall not prevent communications with the other parent.  A parent cannot discipline a child by removing his or her only means of communication with the other parent.
  • Parenting Time Exchanges. If a parent intends to bring a third party to a parenting time exchange, it should not be an individual who increases conflict. Parenting time exchanges at police stations is discouraged because it is assumed to be harmful for children to associate police presence with the family unit.
  • Make-Up Parenting Time. The 2022 IPTG clarify the circumstances when the make-up parenting time provisions apply.  Make-up parenting time should be permitted for occasions that are scheduled outside of a parent’s control, such as illness, mandatory work obligations, military obligations, weddings, funerals, and reunions. The parent who foregoes parenting time for these situations should be provided the opportunity for make-up time.  Make-up parenting time for voluntary events, such as vacations, however, must be agreed upon.  Make-up parenting time may not be used to deny the other parent holidays or special days.
  • Extracurricular Activities. A parent exercising parenting time is entitled to provide transportation to extracurricular activities.  Parents are cautioned from over-involving children in extracurricular activities, which may impact the other’s ability to exercise parenting time.
  • Relocation. The 2022 IPTG reflect the current law regarding notice requirements for a relocating parent.  Generally, a parent must provide at least 30 days’ notice in advance of the move, unless certain exceptions apply.
  • Parenting Time During a Public Health Emergency. The 2022 IPTG address existent circumstances during a declared public health emergency.  Existing custody and parenting time orders are to remain in place.  Parents are to continue following the parenting time orders in effect, even if the schools close.  A parent’s decision to forego parenting time based on the child’s best interests and health, however, is not a voluntary surrender of parenting time.
  • Holiday Parenting Time. Perhaps the most noteworthy changes to the 2022 IPTG are the changes to the holiday parenting time schedule.  Exchanges for purposes of holiday, special days and extended parenting time generally now occur at 6:00 p.m.  Careful review of the 2022 ITGL for each holiday is necessary, however.  For children over the age of three, but not yet enrolled in school, Christmas break parenting time is determined by the district calendar where the custodial parent resides.

If you have any questions about the 2022 IPTG and the applicability to your particular case, please let us know.  You may reach our Bloomington family law attorneys at 812.332.5000, or our Indianapolis family law attorneys at 317.453.2000.