December 12, 2019
Conflicts between co-parents in Indiana sometimes arise around holidays because both people want to share special occasions with their children. Their plan for child custody in Indiana should already address who spends which holidays with the children. Even so, confusion and stress might still occur when co-parents differ in their interpretations of what the plan says. Parents might gain clarity about what they should do by carefully reviewing the rules outlined within their child custody order or following the State’s parenting time guidelines. Versions of guidelines vary across the years, and parents need to follow the guidelines in effect for their case. Their divorce decree or child custody order might specify the applicable version. If the documents do not mention it specifically, then the year that the agreement came into effect determines which version of parenting guidelines to follow.
Birthdays that land on or close to holidays represent a common source of parental disputes. Unless the divorce decree or child custody court order directly covers the topic of birthdays overlapping with holidays, parenting time guidelines outlined by family law in Indiana generally give priority to holidays over birthdays.
Unfortunately, discussing the written rules with a co-parent does not always settle a dispute. A parent might refuse to drop off a child for a holiday or holiday break from school. A parent confronted with the other parent’s outright noncompliance should make another attempt to work out a solution with the co-parent. This is an essential step before involving a family court. Judges want to see that people have made honest efforts to resolve their differences of opinion.
When co-parents cannot agree about parenting time during the holidays, legal action remains an option. An attorney knowledgeable about family law in Indiana might review the divorce decree and parenting guidelines and offer a legal interpretation about which parent should have the child for the holiday. If parents still cannot agree, then an attorney might file a motion with a court that describes the other parent’s failure to comply with a child custody arrangement. A judge will subsequently decide how to proceed.
If you need legal advice about child custody in Indiana, contact Webster & Garino for an appointment. Our office provides complimentary case reviews for parenting time issues.
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