Child Custody Laws: Interpreting Parenting Time Guidelines

Noblesville Indiana Divorce LawyerQuestion:

My ex-wife likes to “reinterpret” the parenting time guidelines as she sees fit for our young child.

We live several hours apart and have normal visitation, according to our state’s child custody laws: every other weekend and four non-consecutive weeks out of the year.

I pick my child up on Friday of the scheduled weekend and then extended parenting time is from Sunday at 4 pm to the following Sunday at 4 pm, which accumulates to 11 days total that month.

She says “when distance is a major factor” that parenting time cannot exceed eight days.

I just want to know who is right so that no one is in contempt.


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Indiana child custody laws where I am licensed to practice.

It seems that you are exercising parenting time as if distance is not a factor. You receive every other weekend as well as four weeks throughout the year beginning at 4:00 pm on Sunday through 4:00 pm on the following Sunday.

Where I practice, this is not the same parenting time which would be received if you were exercising parenting time when distance is a factor. If you were exercising that parenting time schedule, you would receive six one-week segments of parenting time throughout the year.

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Parenting Time Disputes

In the event that the mother withholds this additional parenting time you have requested, you can file a Petition for Contempt. The court has a great deal of discretion and can issue a ruling based on the specific facts of each case. It is possible that a judge could agree with the child’s mother and limit all instances of parenting time to no more than eight days.

In order to be in contempt, there must be a willful disregard for the court order. It is also possible at that point that the court could find that neither of you willfully violated the court order and clarify its interpretation of the parenting time guidelines.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Noblesville, Indiana Divorce Lawyer Sara Pitcher, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Child Custody Laws: Interpreting Parenting Time Guidelines

    I live in Sterling Heights and his father lives in dearborn. It’s about 45 minutes away. How can I determine parenting time when my child is still under age and the back and forth is not in my child’s best interest.

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