The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are based on the premise that it is usually in a child’s best interest to have frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with each parent. It is assumed that both parents nurture their child in important ways, significant to the development and well being of the child. The Guidelines also acknowledge that scheduling parenting time is more difficult when separate households are involved and requires persistent effort and communication between parents to promote the best interest of the children involved. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a model which may be adjusted depending upon the unique needs and circumstances of each family. These guidelines are based upon the developmental stages of children.
A child whose parents live apart has special needs related to the parent-child relationship. A child’s needs and ability to cope with the parent’s situation change as the child matures. Parents should consider these needs as they negotiate parenting time. They should be flexible and create a parenting time agreement which addresses the unique needs of the child and their circumstances. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are designed to assist parents and courts in the development of plans and represent the minimum time a parent should have to maintain frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with a child.
The members of the Domestic Relations Committee of the Judicial Conference of Indiana developed the guidelines after reviewing the current and relevant literature concerning visitation, the visitation guidelines of other geographic areas, and the input of child development experts and family law practitioners. Committee members also relied upon data from surveys of judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals who work with children, reviews of court files, and a public hearing.
Excerpt from the Preamble of the Parenting Guidelines as found in the link below and as can be found on the Indiana State Court of Administration web site: www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/parenting/
Printable version of Parenting Guidelines.
A source of assistance to parents experiencing difficulties co-parenting, exchanging children, or in need of parenting education is: The Children’s Door Program
This program seeks to identify, develop and provide services and programs that support, encourage, enhance and promote cooperative co-parenting.
They offer a monitored parenting time exchange service which allows divorced, separated, and never married parents the opportunity to exchange their children in a safe, neutral, supervised environment. As such, this program will:
1. Eliminate the potential for conflict surrounding exchanges;
2. Allow children to have contact with both parents without witnessing or being put in the middle of parental conflict;
3. Encourage both parents to be positive and active participants in their children’s lives.