Every summer around this time, we get calls about summer parenting time. One parent feels like they are not getting an equal amount of time over summer break. What are the rules exactly?
If your court order doesn’t specify otherwise, and your child is older than 5 years, then you will likely split the summers equally. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, especially in family law, so it is wise to speak with an attorney to see if and how this general rule applies to your family.
If this general rule applies from the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, then the parent labeled “non-custodial” needs to make his or her election for half of the summer time by April 1 each year. This notice needs to be provided verbally and in writing. If this notice is not provided by the deadline, then the “custodial” parent gets to select the summer schedule. This does not mean, however, that the other parent gets no extended parenting time. It simply means the parent labeled “custodial” parent gets to choose the schedule.
The Guidelines state the summer shall be split into two segments. Often times, parties split the summers one week at a time. If either parent gets more than 14 consecutive days, then the other parent should have the opportunity to see the children alternating weekends and one evening per week.
It cannot be stressed enough that these are “general rules”. Not every case is the same and not every rule applies.