The Revised Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines became effective March 1, 2013.
The revisions are significant in a number of aspects, but maintain much of the original intent and wording. The Christmas holiday is now defined differently, without the often confusing distinction of a New Year’s holiday as a separate holiday from the Christmas break. Also, the presumption that the alternating weekend schedule would be altered to avoid one parent having three weekends in a row due to an intervening holiday weekend has been changed; the new expectation being that parents will occasionally have three weekends in a row but the regular alternating pattern will be maintained. There is also wording reflecting the inclusion of certain three-day weekends which were not previously referenced in the Guidelines (President’s Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day).
The Guidelines do include the option of “Parallel Parenting Plans” for high conflict families. High conflict families are those who have a history of repeated litigation, chronic anger and distrust and an inability to communicate which places the child’s well-being at risk. The idea behind Parallel Parenting Plans is to reduce the need for communication and coordination between parties.
The parallel parenting guidelines do not presume that the parties can be joint legal custodians, and generally the non-custodial parent will not have midweek time, makeup time, and other elements of the regular Parenting Time Guidelines which are prone to repeated conflict in those most difficult of cases. Parallel Parenting Plans require mandatory review hearings and are not presumptively a permanent arrangement. There is as model Parallel Parenting Plan Order attached to the Guidelines.