All Things Family Law

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Indiana Parenting Time Guideline - Winter Holiday Parenting Time 2009 & 2010

Holiday parenting time is often a source of confusion. The time a parent has the child alternates each year and is affected by when the school break starts and ends. This posting will provide the specific language of the Guidelines and also an interpretation of what the Guidelines provide this year if your child's winter break is from December 18th - January 4th.

Here is what the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines say about the winter holidays:

HOLIDAY PARENTING TIME SCHEDULE
B. 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 school district.
C. Holidays.
In years ending with an even number, the non-custodial parent shall exercise the following parenting time:
[1] 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.
[4] 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 18th and goes back on January 4th, one interpretation of the Guidelines for the winter holidays in 2010 is as follows:
Thanksgiving Break - with custodial parent in 2009.
Winter School Break - with noncustodial parent from December 18th at 8 p.m. until December 24, then the custodial parent would have the child from December 24th until December 30th at 7 p.m., whereupon the noncustodial parent would have the child from December 30th at 7 p.m. through January 3rd at 7 p.m. However, the noncustodial parent would also have the child from noon until 9 p.m. on December 25th.

In sum, the custodial parent does not have the child as much over the winter break this year; however, the custodial parent gets the Thanksgiving break, Christmas eve as well as Christmas morning.

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