Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 Amendments to Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines - Holiday Parenting Time Schedule: Christmas Vacation and Holidays

The 2013 Christmas Break schedule under the new IPTG may be found HERE.

After a two year process the proposed revisions to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines [IPTG] have now been posted on the Indiana Judiciary web-page. The Domestic Relations Committee of the Indiana Judicial Center [DRC] -- the body responsible for writing the IPTG -- will be accepting public comment on the proposed revisions until Monday, 26 March 2012 .

For the past two years I have been attending the DRC meetings and presenting proposals or providing feedback as requested. I will be analyzing each of the amended sections individually and providing commentary on the changes. Today I continue with my tenth posting - Christmas Vacation and Holidays

One of the most needed and eagerly anticipated changes was the elimination of the New Year's Day holiday and modification of the Christmas/Winter Break schedule. I have previously written about the convoluted schedule that could be created through application of the current Guidelines. I mentioned to the committee about having worked with clients in high conflict cases where a parent had actually demanded that an exchange take place during the pre-dawn hours of the day because that is where the half point landed. Language was added to limit the exchange time to what could be considered normal hours unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

Here is the proposed section -- revised in bold type -- Holiday Parenting Time Schedule: Christmas Vacation

The Christmas vacation shall be defined as beginning on the last day of school and ending the last day before school begins again. Absent agreement of the parties, the first half of the period will begin two hours after the child is released from school. The second half of the period will end at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school begins again.
Each party will receive one half (1/2) of the total days of the Christmas vacation, on an alternating basis as follows:
1.In even numbered years, the custodial parent shall have the first one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation and non-custodial parent shall have the second one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation.
2.In odd numbered years, the non-custodial parent shall have the first one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation and custodial parent shall have the second one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation.
3. In those years when Christmas does not fall in a parent’s week, that parent shall have the child(ren) from Noon to 9:00 P.M. on Christmas Day.
4. No exchanges under this portion of the rule shall occur between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., absent agreement of the parties.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day shall not be considered separate holidays under the Parenting Time Guidelines.


Again there was a clean-up of the language. To simplify the odd-year, even year holiday schedule the two sets of holidays have each been introduced with the odd/even provisions. Paragraph 3 states that in the years that a parent does not have the child for his or her week that includes Christmas Day then the other parent will exercise parenting time from noon-9:00 pm on Christmas Day. That will occur every year unless I am misreading something. I am going to propose a slight change to "The parent not exercising parenting time for the half of Christmas Break that includes Christmas Day shall have the child(ren) from noon to 9:00 P.M.

Here are the even year holidays for the NCP, highlighted in bold, which would have been applicable to 2012.
"The following holidays shall be exercised by the noncustodial parent in even numbered years and the custodial parent in odd numbered years:
[1] MLK Day, if observed by child’s school, from Friday at 6:00 P.M. until Monday at 7:00 P.M.
[2] Presidents’ Day, if observed by child’s school, from Friday at 6:00 P.M. until Monday at 7:00 P.M.

[3] Memorial Day. From Friday at 6:00 P.M. until Monday at 7:00 P.M.
[4] Labor Day. From Friday at 6:00 P.M. until Monday at 7:00 P.M.
[5] Thanksgiving. From 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday until 7:00 P.M. on Sunday."

In my last post I may have left the impression that MLK and President's Day were not treated as holidays by the proposed revisions. To clarify, the Guidelines do not create these as holidays, rather, it is the child's school which determines whether these are to be treated as holidays. If it is not a school holiday then it is not treated as a holiday by the Guidelines. Language was amended for Spring Break to accommodate non-traditional weeks or a shortened school week.

Here are the even year holidays for the CP, highlighted in bold, which would have been applicable to 2012.

"The following holidays shall be exercised by the noncustodial parent in odd years and the custodial parent in even years:
[1] Spring Break. From two hours after the child is released from school on the child’s last day of school before Spring Break, and ending 7:00 p.m. on the last day before school begins again.
[2] Easter. From Friday at 6:00 P.M. until Sunday at 7:00 P.M.
[3] Fourth of July. From 6:00 P.M. on July 3rd until 10:00 A.M. on July 5th.
[4] Fall Break. From two hours after the child is released from school on the child’s last day of school before Fall Break and ending 7:00 p.m. of the last day before school begins again.
[5] Halloween. On Halloween evening from 6:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. or at such time as coincides with the scheduled time for trick or treating in the community where the noncustodial parent resides."

Using the proposed changes, assuming the child's school treated MLK and President's days as holidays and the non-custodial parent having the first weekend in January here is the schedule for 2012 as would be created [for my son] if the amended Guidelines were implemented. No Summer Break schedule has been anticipated.

NCP 6-8 January
NCP Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 13-16 January
NCP 20-22 January
CP 09-11 March
CP Spring Break 17-25 March
NCP 30 March - 01 April
CP Easter 06-08 April
NCP 13-15 April
CP 18-20 May
NCP Memorial Day 25-28 May
CP 01-03 June
CP Independence Day Wednesday 03-05 July Tuesday-Thursday
CP 24-26 August
NCP Labor Day 31 August - 03 September
CP 07-09 September
CP Halloween 31 October Wednesday
CP 16-18 November
NCP Thanksgiving Day 21-25 November Wednesday-Sunday
CP 14-16 December
Christmas Break 21 December - 06 January
CP 21 December 5:00 P.M. - 30 December 8:00 A.M.
NCP 30 December 8:00 A.M. - 06 January 6:00 P.M.

This schedule seems to be what the Committee anticipated. A good balance of days and no long periods of weekends without the children being with either of the parents. This is what would have applied for my son but I know there are numerous schedules that will produce different results. If you have created a schedule for your child that differs significantly from mine please send it to me.

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