Each year I update this post to make it relevant for the
upcoming Thanksgiving and Winter Break parenting time. Holiday parenting time
is often a source of confusion, and this year is more complicated because there
are two sets of Guidelines what may apply. For information about which set of Guidelines
apply, please see my
general Parenting Time Guidelines page.
This posting will provide the specific language of both the
"old" Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines and the "new"
Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, if your child's Winter Break is from Friday,
December 20, 2013 and the first day back will be Monday, January 6, 2014.
These times are consistent with the Carmel Clay School Corporation academic
calendar. For links to your school system calendar see my "Indiana
Schools" page which offers information about all Indiana school
corporations. Please note that the holiday parenting time is
controlled by when a child gets out of school, therefore, your situation may
not follow this interpretation. To discuss this further please contact me.
Here is what the "old" Indiana
Parenting Time Guidelines presently say about the winter holidays:
HOLIDAY PARENTING TIME SCHEDULE (Under the Old
Christmas Vacation. One-half of the period which will
begin at 8:00 P.M. on the evening the child is released from school and
continues to December 30 at 7:00 P.M. If the parents cannot agree on the
division of this period, the custodial parent shall have the first half in
even-numbered years. In those years when Christmas does not fall in a parent’s
week, that parent shall have the child from Noon to 9:00 P.M. on Christmas Day.
The winter vacation period shall apply to pre-school children and shall be determined
by the vacation period of the public grade school in the custodial parent’s
In years ending with an even number, the non-custodial
parent shall exercise the following parenting time:  New Year’s Eve and New
Year’s Day. (The date of the new year will determine odd or even year). From
December 30th at 7:00 P.M to 7:00 P.M. of the evening before school resumes.
 Thanksgiving. From 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday until 7:00 P.M. on Sunday.
After reviewing the Guidelines, if your child gets out of
school on December 20th and goes back on January 6th, one
interpretation of the Guidelines for the winter holidays in 2013-2014 is as
- Thanksgiving Break - with custodial parent in 2013;
- Winter School Break - with the noncustodial parent from December 20th at 8 p.m. until December 25th at noon, then the custodial parent would have the child from December 25th at noon until December 30th at 7 p.m., whereupon the noncustodial parent would have the child from December 30th at 7 p.m. until January 5th at 7 p.m.
Typically the guidelines give the parent who does not have
Christmas day the right to have the child noon to 9 p.m. on Christmas day;
however, this year if the child's school gets out on December 20th,
the Winter Break division is on December 25th.
Here is what the “new”
Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines say about the winter holiday (note: the
new guidelines still refer to the school Winter Break as a “Chirstmas Vacation”:
HOLIDAY PARENTING TIME SCHEDULE (Under the New
vacation shall be defined as beginning on the last day of school and ending the
last day before school begins again. Absent agreement of the parties, the first
half of the period will begin two hours after the child is released from
school. The second half of the period will end at 6:00 p.m. on the day before
school begins again. Each party will
receive one half (1/2) of the total days of the Christmas vacation, on an
alternating basis as follows:
1. In even numbered years, the custodial parent shall
have the first one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation and non-custodial
parent shall have the second one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation.
2. In odd numbered years, the non-custodial parent shall
have the first one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation and custodial parent
shall have the second one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation.
3. In those years when Christmas does not fall in a
parent’s week, that parent shall have the child from Noon to 9:00 P.M. on
4. No exchanges under this portion of the rule shall
occur after 9:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m., absent agreement of the parties.
New Year’s Eve and
New Year’s Day shall not be considered separate holidays under the Parenting
Thanksgiving. From 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday until 7:00 P.M.
on Sunday, shall be exercised by the noncustodial parent in even numbered years
and the custodial parent in odd numbered years.
After reviewing the new Guidelines, if your child gets out
of school on December 20th, at 3:00 p.m. and goes back on
January 6th, there are 16 days and 1 hour of winter break. One interpretation of the Guidelines for the
winter holidays in 2013-2014 is as follows:
- Thanksgiving Break - with custodial parent in 2013;
- Winter School Break - with noncustodial parent from December 20th until
December 28th, but the custodial parent would have the child on December 25th from noon to 9 p.m., then the custodial parent would have the child from December 28th until January 5th at 6 p.m.
It is also important to note that the “new” Guidelines clarified
the hierarchy between holiday parenting time and regular parenting time, and
state that sometimes, due to holiday parenting time, a parent may have 3
weekends in a row. However, the “old” Guidelines are not consistent with
the “new” Guidelines on these points. So there
are not only different holiday schedules, but also different rules regarding how
to set the regular parenting time schedule after the holidays, i.e. who has the
weekend following the holidays. Remember
that “existing parenting time orders in effect on March 1, 2013 shall be
enforced according to the parenting time guidelines that were in
effect on the date the parenting time order was issued.”
To discuss this please contact me. To see all of
my postings on this topic search here.
Looking for the "old" guidelines? Go here.