The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines provide the opportunity for parents to modify their established parenting time schedule to accommodate events outside the normal family routine. Special family events such as weddings, funerals, and reunions are the types of events outside the normal family routine which may require a modification to the parenting time schedule to allow the child to attend. A parent’s illness may also require a modification to the parenting time schedule. When these adjustments are needed, the parent who loses scheduled parenting time is entitled to make-up parenting time. The Guidelines have been amended, effective January 1, 2022, to broaden the category of events which qualify for make-up time. The amendment also provides additional guidance for scheduling make-up time to help reduce conflict between parents in scheduling the make-up time.
The amendment now allows make-up time for “events outside the normal family routine or the control of the parent requiring the adjustment.” This broadens the circumstances which grant a parent the right for make-up time. Specifically, this allows a parent to modify the parenting time schedule to accommodate work requirements, which have previously not been considered for make-up time since they were not a special family event. The Guidelines now require that recurring events which may require an adjustment to the parenting time schedule, such as military drill obligations or annual work obligations, should be communicated to the other parent as soon as those scheduled events are published. This should prevent last minute changes to the parenting time schedule for events that were known in advance.
Voluntary obligations for a parent, such as vacations or participation in other voluntary events, are not subject to make-up parenting time unless both parents agree. Make-up parenting time may not be used due to a parent’s failure to plan in advance, absent a true emergency. In these circumstances, the opportunity for additional parenting time may apply, which provides the other parenting additional parenting time without the opportunity for make-up time for the parent who loses their scheduled parenting time.
When an adjustment occurs and make-up time is needed, the parent who lost their scheduled parenting time shall select the make-up time within one month of the missed time if the parents cannot agree on when the makeup time should occur. The Guidelines now clarify that make-up time is not an opportunity to deny the other parent of scheduled holidays or special days and should not interfere with previously scheduled activities.
Parents who exercise equal parenting time may not exercise more than three (3) consecutive days of make-up time at any time, so that one parent does not exercise more than ten (10) consecutive days of regular and make-up parenting time.