Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines

What are Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines?

There are situations where children grow up in separate households, mainly because their parents are separated. With the impending impacts of the pandemic, parents and children were caught up in a sense of dread, wondering how to ensure healthy and safe co-parenting so everyone remains safe during that point of crisis.

To overcome the challenges, the Indiana Supreme Court created the “New Indiana Parenting Guidelines,” implemented in January 2022. However, since several laws and legalities are involved, being confused about the whole thing is pretty standard.

This article will explore everything you need to know about the Indiana Parenting time guidelines, their implementation, and some fundamental changes introduced in the new guidelines.

Why Are the Old and New Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines Important?

The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are an initial framework for establishing parenting time arrangements in family law proceedings.

Besides the standard norms of co-parenting, the guidelines recognize that there are high risks of tension for the kid living in a family with divorced parents. However, the primary purpose of the new and updated guidelines is to ensure that the children benefit from regular contact, interaction, and communication established with both parents.

Consequently, the Guidelines provide a clear structure that helps interpret visitation orders, enabling families to understand such orders better and minimizing potential disagreements regarding parenting time.

As mentioned, the new Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines were practical from January 01, 2022. The primary purpose was to establish a healthy parenting scenario for the children, despite the crisis during the global pandemic.

What’s Different about the New Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines?

Now that you know the significance of the old and new Indiana parenting time guidelines let us understand what’s different about the latest policies from the old ones.

Regarding the differences between the old and the new Indiana parenting time guidelines, you must understand that almost everything remains the same. This means that the core part of the guideline is the same.

However, there are a few notable changes in the new guidelines, especially inclusions in new sections based on parenting time and custody arrangement under the shared parenting model. This ensures that the child in question gets the care and attention they need and deserve.

1. Changes to Communication Between Children and the Other Parent

When discussing the communication between the children and the parents, the new guidelines highlight a “shared parenting model” compared to the parallel parenting model, which was in the old guidelines.

Under this, parents must develop a healthy co-parenting model with their children, ensuring optimal, open, and clear communication. Parents must ensure equal allocation of parenting responsibilities to avoid confusion or complaints.

We’d recommend discussing the new inclusions in the guideline, especially regarding communication with a locally qualified lawyer, to pick the type of co-parenting and communication thread that works the best for your family.

Also, per the new guidelines, it is mandatory that a message left on the voicemail, text, pager, etc., by one parent, should be forwarded or relayed to the child as is. Furthermore, one parent shouldn’t record their child’s conversation with another parent.

2. Parenting Time During a Public Health Emergency

Since the inception of the global health crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic was the reason why the new Indiana parenting guidelines were updated, understanding more about parenting time during a public health emergency seems like a dire need.

Under the new guidelines, an updated section discusses what parents should do in light of a public health emergency in the future.

One of the highlights suggests that the court’s order surrounding the “parenting time, child support and custody” will remain the same even in light of a public health emergency. However, the guidelines also acknowledge that there could be a burden abiding by the exact set of court orders during a crisis.

In the new guidelines, there is a mandate mentioned where the involved parents have to file a “joint written agreement” to be able to modify their custody arrangement and the parenting time that’s involved in the process.

The agreement submitted with the modifications will only be viable once a government official approves it. In this case, an approval by the court is necessary.

Also Read – Healing Wounds: Overcoming Co-Parenting Harassment And Moving Forward

3. Pick up and Drop Off Changes

The next thing that requires close attention is transportation. Two new additions are made in the new guidelines concerning the transportation and exchange of the child from one parent to the other.

Firstly, it is mandatory that during such conflict, there shouldn’t be a third-party present in the situation that could trigger the situation further.

Unless there is a history of repeated intimidation or violent acts between the parents or the presence of a protective order, the practice of arranging exchanges at police departments is discouraged.

If you are in a co-parenting situation that often leads to conflict when exchanging the child from one household to the other, it is ideal to discuss the issues with a professional lawyer to find common ground.

4. Make-up Parenting Time

The quarantine, social distancing, and the pandemic, in general, raised many concerns among children and the divorced household, especially regarding parenting time. There were reports of missed visitations, which led to many modification requests from the parents.

Now, looking into that, the new Indiana parenting time guidelines have set out a few essential rules and guidelines when it comes to make-up parenting time.

  • If the missed parenting time is due to an inevitable issue and situations beyond the parent’s control, that time can be rescheduled.
  • If one parent has to reschedule or needs to alter their parenting time, they must provide a notice to the other parent with valid reasons.
  • If one parent engages in make-up parenting, the same shouldn’t hinder or coincide with the other parent’s special days, holidays, or other planned events.

Some situations that warrant make-up parenting time include mandatory work, illness, volunteer work, military obligations, etc.

Is Indiana a 50-50 custody state?

Being confused as to what a 50-50 custody state is expected. This is a situation where both parents have joint legal custody of their child and spend equally divided parenting time with their children separately.

Indiana is a 50-50 custody state. Still, the final judgment is ruled by the court, meaning that it is 100% the judge will decide the fate of the custody and the parenting time allotted to each parent based on the case and the parents’ record.

Also Read – Authoritative vs Authoritarian Parenting: Which Is A Better Parenting Style

How Long Does a Father Have to Be Absent to Lose His Rights in Indiana?

Parental rights are taken extremely seriously in India, which is one of the main reasons why there are strict grounds for termination of one’s parental rights if they are found not to pay the required care to the child.

In Indiana, a father will lose his rights to his child if he is found to have been physically separated from the child for over six months. There needs to be concrete proof, and a court order should be in place to terminate paternal rights.

At What Age Can a Child Refuse to See a Parent in Indiana?

To ensure optimal transparency and prevent the risks of influence, it is mandatory that a child has to be at least 14 years before they can refuse to see a parent in Indiana.

The age is set to 14 years to ensure that there is no external influence from the other parent and the child is of age to decide what they want for themselves.

Also Read – Which Parenting Style is Most Encouraged in Modern America?


That concludes everything you need to know about the old and the new Indiana parenting time guidelines. Ensure that you understand the differences well and even talk to a lawyer to get better clarifications if needed. The primary objective of these guidelines is to establish clear expectations regarding each parent’s roles and responsibilities in the child’s life.

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  • Ava Jones

    Meet Ava Jones, the heart behind Passionate about parenting, cooking, and fostering harmonious homes, she invites you on an incredible journey of shared insights, experiences, and tips. As a fellow mom, Ava offers a virtual hand of support and inspiration, understanding the joys, challenges, and rewarding moments of raising children. Welcome to her world of love and guidance.

Ava Jones

Meet Ava Jones, the heart behind Passionate about parenting, cooking, and fostering harmonious homes, she invites you on an incredible journey of shared insights, experiences, and tips. As a fellow mom, Ava offers a virtual hand of support and inspiration, understanding the joys, challenges, and rewarding moments of raising children. Welcome to her world of love and guidance.

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