For parents who follow the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines the summer parenting time schedule is often different than school year parenting time schedule. This posting will discuss how the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines generally deal with summer, and how conflicts between holidays, vacations and regular parenting are resolved. This posting is important because summer parenting time selections must be made by April 1.
That the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines were changed in 2013 makes matters a little more complex. There are presently two (2) versions of the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines that parents may follow. If your parenting time order was issued before March 1, 2013 you likely follow the "old" guidelines, and if your parenting time order was entered after March 1, 2013, you likely follow the "new" guidelines. For about which version you follow, see here.
For children over five (5) years old each parent is entitled to one-half of the summer vacation. The time may be either consecutive or split into two (2) segments.
The noncustodial parent must give notice to the custodial parent of his/her selection of parenting time by April 1 of each year. If such notice is not given, the custodial parent can make the selection. In making the summer selection it is important to remember that holiday parenting time shall take precedence over summer parenting time; therefore, if it is a parent’s year to have the 4th of July holiday, that parent’s holiday parenting time shall take precedence over the summer parenting time schedule.
Even while summer parenting time schedule is ongoing “regular” parenting time still may occur. During any extended summer period of more than two (2) consecutive weeks with the non-custodial parent, the custodial parent shall have the benefit of the regular parenting time schedule (generally, every other weekend and one evening per week), unless impracticable because of distance created by out of town vacations.
Similarly, during the summer period when the children are with the custodial parent for more than two (2) consecutive weeks, the non-custodial parent's regular parenting time continues, unless impracticable because of distance created by out of town vacations.
As to the summer parenting time, notice of an employer's restrictions on the vacation time of either parent shall be delivered to the other parent as soon as that information is available. In scheduling parenting time the employer imposed restrictions on either parent's time shall be considered by the parents in arranging their time with their child.
Where a child attends year-round school, the periodic breaks should be divided equally between the parents, and if a child attends summer school, the parent exercising parenting time shall be responsible for the child's transportation to and attendance at school.
However, where distance is a major factor, the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines recommend the following:
Child 5 Years of Age and Older. For a child 5 years of age and older, seven (7) weeks of the school summer vacation period and seven (7) days of the school winter vacation plus the entire spring break, including both weekends if applicable. Such parenting time, however, shall be arranged so that the custodial parent shall have religious holidays, if celebrated, in alternate years.
Priority of Summer Visitation. Summer parenting time with the non-custodial parent shall take precedence over summer activities (such as Little League) when parenting time cannot be reasonably scheduled around such events. Under such circumstances, the non-custodial parent shall attempt to enroll the child in a similar activity in his or her community.
Extended Parenting Time Notice. The noncustodial parent shall give notice to the custodial parent of the selection by April 1 of each year. If such notice is not given, the custodial parent shall make the selection.