Going through a divorce in Indiana is not an easy process. A couple needs to go through the process of dividing the life they shared during the marriage, and often must make important decisions during an emotional time. This process includes dividing the couple’s assets and debts, but also involves dividing their time with their children. This can be the most difficult part of the process for many parents.
There are two different aspects of dividing the parental duties after a divorce. There are custody determinations, which involves making decisions for the children. There is legal custody and physical custody. Both can be awarded either jointly or one parent may receive sole custody of the children.
The other aspect of dividing the parental duties is parenting time, which determines when each parent will have the children in their care. It also will determine the logistics of how parents will exchange the children, make up missed time, handle the children’s activities, communication between the parents about the children and other aspects of their daily lives.
Basics of the parenting time guidelines
The parenting time schedule can vary and parents do have control over the schedule to an extent, but there are parenting time guidelines which determine most aspects of the parenting time plan that the parents cannot reach agreements on. There are set schedules based on the children’s ages. The younger the child, the more time the children will spend with the primary care-taker. As the children grow older, they will begin have more overnights with the visiting parent.
There are many factors that may change these guidelines though. The children’s safety and well-being is the most important part of parenting time and if there is domestic abuse or substance abuse the parents will not follow the guidelines.
Some parents who divorce in Indiana will still be able to co-parent effectively. They will be able to put their personal differences aside to make decisions and care for their children. However, not every set of parents will be able to do this. In these situations, it is important to have a set of rules to guide the parents when disagreements arise about the various aspects of co-parenting. This includes much more than simply determining when the children will be with each parent. Experienced attorneys understand these guidelines and may be able to guide parents through the process.