The much anticipated revisions to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTG) take effect on March 1, 2013. Below are some answers to FAQ:
How will the new guidelines affect my current parenting time schedule?
If you currently have a court order to follow the IPTG, then the new guidelines will have no affect on your parenting time. The new IPTG will only apply to new orders of parenting time or those taking effect on or after March 1, 2013. However, if your current order with respect to parenting time or custody is modified by the Court in the future; the new IPTG will likely be implemented at that time.
Can I move to modify my current order to implement the new IPTG?
No, you cannot file a motion with the court for the sole purpose of implementing the new IPTG. However, parents are not prevented from agreeing to follow the revised IPTG. If both parents agree that they wish to follow the new IPTG, they must put their agreement in writing and file with the court for approval. Otherwise, the agreement will not be enforceable.
How do the new IPTG differ from the current IPTG?
There have been no changes to the weekly schedule of parenting time. The main changes are with respect to the holiday and special day schedules. Under the current IPTG there are no provisions for dividing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, President's Day weekend or fall break. The new IPTG have added these as holidays to be alternated between the parents. Under the new IPTG, Christmas break and New Year's holiday have been consolidated into one holiday and divided equally. Under the current IPTG they are two separate holidays.
The revised IPTG give additional guidance regarding division of breaks for children attending schools with year round or balanced calendars. The current IPTG divide all breaks equally between the parties but neglect to assign which parent receives which half. The revised IPTG alternate the first half and second half of the breaks from year to year.
The revised IPTG no longer include the provision preventing either party from exercising three weekends in a row due to holiday parenting time. The revised IPTG allow the parties to maintain alternating weekends throughout the year. Holidays still take precedence over regular weekend parenting time.
Additionally, there have been some clarifications with respect to the opportunity for additional parenting time (Right of First Refusal). This provision states that when a parent requires childcare by someone other than a family member, that they must offer this time to the other parent first. The revised IPTG provide further guidance regarding the definition of "family member" with the term "responsible household" family member being added to the guidelines. The commentary defines household family member as "an adult person residing in the household, who is related to the child by blood, marriage or adoption."
The above highlights some but not all of the revisions to the IPTG. You may view all the changes to the current guidelines here.