“New” Parenting Time Guidelines or “Old” Parenting Time Guidelines? That is (still) the Question.


With Winter Break rapidly approaching, parents need to agree on a parenting time schedule that works for them and their children, and accommodates all of the holiday get-togethers. If parents typically just follow the Winter Break and Holiday schedules in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, then they need to make sure they are following the same set. There was a flood of conflict and problems last year (2013) over holiday time because the one parent was following the “Old” Guidelines and the other was referring to the “New” Guidelines.

There are essentially two sets of Parenting Time Guidelines in Indiana. The “Old” Guidelines are still in effect and apply to parenting time orders before March 1, 2013. The “New” Guidelines were adopted on March 1, 2013 and apply to all parenting time orders issued after that date. If there was an order established before March 1, 2013, but later modified after March 1, 2013, the “New” Guidelines should control. These tend to be the most problematic cases because the parents have either 1) not heard of the “New” Guidelines, or 2) heard of them, but still think they are under the “Old” ones.

There were several changes to the “Old” Winter Break and Holiday schedules. One significant difference is the elimination of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as Holidays. Also, the entire Winter Break is now split into two halves based on the child’s school calendar, instead of just splitting the first half of the break. Basically, the only part that didn’t change was the parent who didn’t wake up with the child on Christmas Day received parenting time from noon to 9:00 p.m.

While the “New” Winter Break and Holiday schedules are much easier to follow, a large amount of parents are still operating under the “Old” Guidelines. As you can imagine, if both parents are not following the same schedule, there will be some issues this holiday season. If you are caught in this dilemma, you should first find out the date of your last parenting time order. If it was issued after March 1, 2013, then you are likely supposed to be following the “New” Guidelines.

If you have any questions regarding your Winter Break and Holiday Schedules, or you don’t know which set of Guidelines you should be following, then please give our team a call. We understand the time pressure and importance of parental conflicts over the holidays, so we will put your case first and consult with you immediately.