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Parents who agree that current changes to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are in their childs best interests should file their written agreement with the court for approval. There is a presumption that the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are applicable in all cases.Parents may agree to some or all of the changes to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines and should be specific in their written agreement. Deviations from these Guidelines by either the parties or the court that result in parenting time less than the minimum time set forth below must be accompanied by a written explanation indicating why the deviation is necessary or appropriate in the case.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.The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are designed to assist parents and courts in the development of their own parenting plans.In the event the parties cannot create their own parenting time agreement, these guidelines represent the minimum time a parent should have to maintain frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with a 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.
The written explanation need not be as formal as Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law; however, it must state the reason(s) for the deviation. Parents shall at all times keep each other advised of their home and work addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.
They should be flexible and create a parenting time agreement which addresses the unique needs of the child and their circumstances.
Parents and attorneys should always demonstrate a spirit of cooperation.
These guidelines are based upon the developmental stages of children.
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.