Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines 2023: What Parents Need to Know

Indiana Parenting Guidelines 2023

Indiana family courts aim to ensure that the best interests of children are upheld during divorce and custody cases. To help judges make informed rulings, the state provides guidelines on topics like decision-making, parenting time, and child support. For Indiana parents going through separation or divorce, it’s important to understand these updated guidelines for 2023.

Overview of Indiana Parenting Laws

Indiana parenting laws emphasize the importance of frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact between children and both parents. The laws state that it’s in a child’s best interest to have strong relationships with each parent, provided the child is in a safe environment.

Some key principles of Indiana’s parenting laws include:

  • Parents should have equal rights and responsibilities regarding their children. This includes access to important information like medical records.
  • Parents should make major decisions together regarding issues like education, health care, and religious upbringing.
  • Children should have structured, consistent parenting time with each parent. This maintains stability and relationships.
  • Parents should have frequent, positive communication regarding their children’s well-being. This includes being timely and considerate when scheduling parenting time.
  • Children should have as little conflict as possible between parents. Parents have a duty to resolve issues through respectful discussion or mediation.

Indiana Parenting Guidelines

Indiana has established detailed parenting time guidelines that courts use to determine custody and visitation schedules. The schedules provide a minimum recommended amount of parenting time for the non-custodial parent.

For school-age children, the guidelines recommend:

  • Weekends – Alternating weekends from Friday evening through Sunday evening.
  • Weekdays – One evening per week for a period of up to 4 hours.
  • Holidays – Alternating major holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. The parent with weekend parenting time gets the child in even-numbered years, while the other parent gets odd-numbered years.
  • Breaks – Alternating Fall Break and Spring Break. Each parent gets 7 consecutive days of the 14-day Winter Break.
  • Summers – Each parent gets 2 non-consecutive weeks of vacation time. The non-custodial parent also gets up to 4 weeks of parenting time in either one continuous period or two 2-week segments.

The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines provide detailed schedules for children of different ages, including a complex phase-in schedule for infants and toddlers. The guidelines allow courts flexibility to craft schedules appropriate for each family’s unique situation.

Indiana Child Support Guidelines

Indiana uses the Income Shares Model to determine child support obligations. This model calculates child support based on the combined income of both parents and considers the needs of the child.

Some key aspects of Indiana’s child support guidelines for 2023 include:

  • Income cap – For 2023, the maximum combined weekly income considered for child support is $4,300. Anything above this cap is excluded from calculations.
  • Support amounts – The basic child support amount depends on combined income and ranges from around 15% of income for one child up to 49% of income for six children.
  • Split custody – If each parent has sole custody of at least one child, child support is determined by offsetting the support owed by each parent.
  • Extenuating circumstances – Courts may deviate from standard guidelines in certain situations like extremely low income, shared custody, payments for other dependents, etc.
  • Modification – Either parent can request a modification of child support if income changes by at least 20%.

In addition to basic child support, courts may order payments for health care, childcare, and educational expenses. Courts can also require life insurance policies to guarantee continued support.

Indiana Child Support Guidelines 2023

The Indiana Child Support Guidelines are the rules and principles that courts use to determine how much child support a parent should pay for their child. The guidelines are based on the income and expenses of both parents, as well as the needs and best interests of the child. The guidelines are updated periodically to reflect changes in economic data and social norms. The most recent update was in 2023, and it introduced several changes to the previous version of the guidelines. Some of the main changes are:

A revised weekly schedule for child support based on more recent economic data. The schedule shows the basic child support obligation for each income level and number of children. The new schedule is lower than the previous one for most income levels, reflecting lower costs of living and lower child-rearing expenses.

Removal of uninsured healthcare payments from the weekly schedule for child support. The previous schedule included a 6% add-on for uninsured healthcare expenses, which was applied to all cases regardless of the actual costs incurred by the parents. The new guidelines eliminate this add-on and instead require the parents to share the actual uninsured and unreimbursed healthcare expenses of the child according to their proportional incomes.

Amendment of the low-income adjustment to account for the income of both parents. The previous guidelines provided a low-income adjustment for parents whose combined weekly gross income was less than $800. The new guidelines increase this threshold to $1,000 and also consider the income of both parents, not just the non-custodial parent when applying the adjustment. The adjustment reduces the child support obligation of the low-income parent by a percentage that varies depending on their income level.

Simplification of uninsured and unreimbursed healthcare expenses. The previous guidelines required the parents to keep track of all healthcare expenses that were not covered by insurance or reimbursed by the other parent and to submit them to the court for approval and allocation. The new guidelines simplify this process by allowing the parents to agree on a reasonable amount of healthcare expenses per year, or to use a default amount of $500 per year per child if they cannot agree. The parents can then pay their share of these expenses directly to the provider or reimburse each other without involving the court

Tips for Indiana Parents

Going through separation or divorce is difficult, especially when children are involved. Here are some tips for Indiana parents navigating custody situations:

  • See a mediator first – Mediation can resolve many custody issues out of court through constructive discussion and compromise. Studies show greater satisfaction with mediated outcomes.
  • Understand legal custody – Joint legal custody is common and means parents have equal decision-making rights regarding major issues like education, health care, and religion.
  • Be reasonable about parenting time – Focus on maintaining close relationships and consistency for your kids, not “winning” more days on a calendar. Don’t fight over trivial differences in schedules.
  • Document agreements – Any mutually agreed upon custody arrangement should be formally documented, signed by both parents, witnessed, and approved by a judge.
  • Consider professional advice – Seek guidance from qualified, ethical attorneys, accountants, therapists, and mediators. Get expert advice before signing agreements.
  • Focus on the kids – Make decisions based on your children’s best interests, even when it’s emotionally difficult. Keep communication respectful and minimize conflict.

Separation and divorce take an emotional toll on everyone involved. By understanding Indiana’s updated parenting guidelines for 2023, families can help provide stability for children during challenging transitions. With maturity and resilience, families can still foster healthy environments where kids feel safe, loved, and secure.

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