I am trying to arrange a child custody and parenting time schedule with my ex-girlfriend, who recently moved and now lives several hours from me.
What are standard parenting time guidelines when the parents live a great distance from each other?
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 divorce and child support laws where I am licensed to practice.
Parenting time is often guided by the state Parenting Time Guidelines. These guidelines address the issue of parenting from a distance and suggest parenting time occur for extended periods throughout the year based on the child’s age.
When distance is a major factor, the following parenting time schedule may be helpful:
Child Under 3 Years Of Age: For a child under 3 years of age, the noncustodial parent shall have the option to exercise parenting time, in the community of the custodial parent, up to two five hour periods each week. The five hour period may occur on Saturday and Sunday on alternate weekends only.
Child 3 and 4 Years of Age: For a child 3 and 4 years of age, up to six (6) one week segments annually, each separated by at least (6) weeks. Including the pickup and return of the child, no segment shall exceed eight (8) days.
Child 5 Years of Age and Older: For a child 5 years of age and older, seven (7) weeks of the school summer vacation period and seven (7) days of the school winter vacation plus the entire spring break, including both weekends if applicable. Such parenting time, however, shall be arranged so that the custodial parent shall have religious holidays, if celebrated, in alternate years.
Priority of Summer Visitation: Summer parenting time with the non-custodial parent shall take precedence over summer activities (such as Little League) when parenting time cannot be reasonably scheduled around such events. Under such circumstances, the non-custodial parent shall attempt to enroll the child in a similar activity in his or her community.
Extended Parenting Time Notice: The noncustodial parent shall give notice to the custodial parent of the selection by April 1 of each year. If such notice is not given, the custodial parent shall make the selection.
Special Notice of Availability: When the non-custodial parent is in the area where the child resides, or when the child is in the area where the non-custodial parent resides, liberal parenting time shall be allowed. The parents shall provide notice to each other, as far in advance as possible, of such parenting opportunities.
You should determine whether your state has similar guidelines which govern parenting time when distance is a major factor.
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.