We did a blog earlier this week about the general rules for summer parenting time. What about the other breaks, such as spring, fall and winter breaks?
The first place to start is by working it out with the other parent. There are several moving parts in scheduling vacations, time off work, childcare, and activities with your children during times outside the regular parenting time schedule. “Working it out” is not always easy, practical, or possible for many parents, which is why the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines is the next step.
If there is already a court order in place that deviates from the Guidelines, then you need to follow it. If you ever want to change the schedules in your court order, then you must file for a modification and have a Judge formally modify the order before you change it. Obviously, by agreement with the other parent, you may always tweak schedules here and there to meet your needs; but, the key word here is, agreement.
The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines split all extended school breaks evenly between the parents. If spring and fall breaks are one week each, then parents alternate years. If those breaks are two weeks each, then the parents get one week of each break. The Guidelines even specify who gets the first week and who gets the second week if the parents cannot agree themselves or want guidance on general practices.
Here are some relevant excerpts from the Guidelines:
“If a child attends a school that has a year-round or balanced calendar, the noncustodial parent’s extended parenting time shall be one-half of the time for fall and spring school breaks. Unless otherwise agreed to by the parents or ordered by the trial court, the noncustodial parent shall exercise parenting time the first half of school break in odd years, and the second half of school break in even years. Absent an agreement of the parties, the first half of the break will begin two hours after the child is released from the school, and the second half of the period will end at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school begins again.”
“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- No exchanges under this portion of the rule shall occur after 9:00 p.m. and before 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.”
Vacation Time with Work
“Notice of an employer’s restrictions on the vacation time of either parent shall be delivered to the other parent as soon as that information is available. In scheduling parenting time the employer imposed restrictions on either parent’s time shall be considered by the parents in arranging their time with their child.”
These are merely Guidelines, but a good start when looking to schedule extended time with your children during their school breaks.