Most children experience major life changes both during and after divorce. The court appreciates the delicate nature of custody and parenting time issues. Conflicts over parenting time and custody may put your child(ren)’s health and well being at risk. You and the other party are encouraged to participating in the Up To Parents free service.
Agreements reached regarding your child(ren) may last many years and may be difficult to change if you later decide to change your mind. It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer regarding the different types of custody so that you can make an informed decision regarding your child(ren)’s best interest.
If you wish to modify your custody agreement, Indiana child custody laws require that you present reasonable evidence to the court that it is necessary. The modification must be seen as in the best interest of the child by the court, otherwise it will most likely be denied instantly. Overall, if you or the other parent is seeking modifications for your own personal gain, it is highly unlikely that it will be granted.
Parenting time is the preferred term to use rather than “visitation”. It refers to the actual physical parenting time plan that parents have with their child(ren).
The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are based on the premise that it is usually in a child’s best interest to have frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with each parent. It is assumed that both parents nurture their child in important ways, significant to the development and well being of the 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 the guidelines is to provide a model which may be adjusted depending upon the unique needs and circumstances of each family.
A child whose parents live apart has special needs related to the parent-child relationship. 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. 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. 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, the guidelines represent the minimum time a parent should have to maintain frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with a child.
Mandatory Mediation Notice
In all family relations cases that involve parenting issues pending before the court, the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines require all parties to participate in mediation prior to scheduling any matter before the Court, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. A Mandatory Mediation Notice should accompany all parenting time filings.
Can A Parent Refuse To Allow Visitation If Child Support Is Not Paid?
No, parenting time may not be refused based solely on the failure to pay child support. However, if the parent ordered to pay child support fails to do so, the other parent may file a contempt of court action in the original court where the child support order was issued.