This blog provides general family law and divorce law information. If you have a specific issue or case you need assistance with please contact me directly to discuss my representation as your attorney or assistance as mediator.

October 12, 2012

Holiday Parenting Time in Indiana 2012-2013 - Thanksgiving and Winter Holidays - Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines

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. 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 Friday, December 21, 2012 and the first day back will be Tuesday, January 8, 2013. 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 Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines presently say about the winter holidays:

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 21st  and goes back on January 8th, one interpretation of the Guidelines for the winter holidays in 2012-2013 is as follows:
  • Thanksgiving Break - with noncustodial parent in 2012; 
  • Winter School Break - with custodial parent from December 21st at 8 p.m. until December 25th at noon, then the noncustodial parent would have the child from December 25th at noon until December 30th at 7 p.m., whereupon the custodial parent would have the child from December 30th at 7 p.m. and for the remainder of the Winter Break. 
In sum, the noncustodial parent does not have the child as much over the winter break this year; however, the noncustodial parent gets the Thanksgiving break. 

Typically the 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 21st, the Winter Break division is on December 25th.

The holiday schedule will likely change when the Guidelines are amended.  I expect them to be amended the first part of 2013, maybe as early as January 1, 2013.  See my most up-to-date posting about the new Guidelines here.

**WHERE THE FAMILY DOES NOT CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS** Recognizing that not everyone celebrates the Christmas holiday, the Guidelines also provide as follows:

Religious based holidays shall be considered by the parties and added to the foregoing holiday schedule when appropriate. The addition of such holidays shall not affect the Christmas vacation parenting time, however, they may affect the Christmas day and Easter parenting time. Recognizing there are individuals of varying faiths who celebrate holidays other than those set out in the guidelines, the parties should try to work out a holiday visitation schedule that fairly divides the holidays which they celebrate over a two-year period in as equal a manner as possible.

To discuss this further please contact me.