Even if you have never been divorced you are probably aware as an Indiana resident that if you are married with children and get a divorce that the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines often dictate who has the children at what times in order to assist divorced parents with coparenting. The guidelines use the terms custodial and non-custodial parents in order to identify the exes and dictate just about everything when it comes to parenting time.
For a person who has never been through a divorce the idea of having to exchange your children at particular times can be an unsettling feeling. Nonetheless, in the event that during the divorce process spouses can’t agree on child visitation, the Indiana Parenting Guidelines allow us not to start from scratch when drafting marital agreements. The Indiana Parenting Guidelines dictate whether the custodial or non-custodial parent will have the children on holidays, during summer vacation and what the schedule will be during a typical school week. In fact, the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines assign the non-custodial spouse mid-week visitation overnight.
Even though the Indiana Parenting Guidelines are in place, it is important to remember that in the event that spouses agree a different schedule is in the best interests of the child, they can deviate from these guidelines. For many parents, mid-week overnights don’t make a lot of sense. A mid-week overnight may add another errand to each parent’s day as well as cause a diminished sense of stability for children being transferred from one home to the other. Some co-parents determine it is best to have one parenting time exchange per week (typically the exchange takes place on a weekend). This schedule can be very helpful when both parents work 8-5 jobs Monday through Friday.
For co-parents who have variable schedules, setting up a fixed visitation schedule can be tricky. For example, if one parent works in retail and the other is a plumber who is often on-call, visitation can get tricky and a set schedule doesn’t always work. In such situations, in order to co-parent both parents have to be willing to work together. It may make sense for the co-parents to change work schedules for the month as soon as they obtain them. At that point the parents could determine which days the children should spend with each of them due to their work schedules. In the event of a disagreement, one parent or the other may control in a various month.
Families come with a lot of different needs. Some co-parents have the ability to have grandparents watch children while others are both unable to be with children right after school and will have to pay for the cost of after school care. Some Indiana co-parents live next door to each other (this really has happened), which makes transitions in co-parenting extremely easy. For other families, having a set schedule of parenting time in alignment with the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines because they are not able to agree otherwise and it is best used to avoid miscommunications or arguments regarding visitation.
The bottom line that if you are a parent you will be a parent even when you are not a spouse. Both parents are typically involved in the lives of their children post-divorce. There is not a perfect one-size fits all solution. However, there will be a parenting time order issued by the Court whether it is by agreement or as the result of a Court hearing. If you are a resident of Hamilton County, Indiana and are in need of counsel contact our office to schedule your meeting with an attorney at (317) 575-8222 x 0 or click here. Our office is located on Main Street in Carmel, Indiana, conveniently near the Carmel Arts and Design district. It would be our pleasure to assist you with a very important time in your life.