Summer Parenting Time for the Non-Custodial Parent
Summer Vacation and Summer Parenting Time - What A Non-Custodial Parent Needs to Do Now
by Heidi Koeneman
The time to start planning for parenting time and summer vacations is now! Not just because an airline ticket might be cheaper, or because your employer needs you to reserve your vacation days several months in advance, but also because it’s the only way the non-custodial parent can ensure his or her desired parenting time is reserved. If you were granted parenting time as the “non-custodial parent” pursuant to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) then it is time to plan the parenting time you will be exercising with your children during the summer months.
Pursuant to the Guidelines, April 1 is the deadline for a non-custodial parent to notify the custodial parent of the parenting time that he or she wishes to exercise over the summer. That notification must be made verbally and in writing and a written copy evidencing that the election was made timely should be retained. If the non-custodial parent misses the deadline or otherwise fails to notify the custodial parent of preferred summer parenting time, then the custodial parent gets to choose the summer parenting time schedule. As long as the non-custodial parent timely makes his or her summer parenting time election on or before April 1 in writing, the custodial parent cannot refuse or object to the same.
Summer parenting time is set forth in the Guidelines under Section II, Paragraph D(3) “Extended Parenting Time (Child 5 and older)”. If your children are over the age of 5, then you are entitled to “One-half of the Summer Vacation.” The Guidelines define summer as starting the day after school lets out for summer and ends the day before school resumes for the new school year. Per the Guidelines, this time can be used consecutively or it can be split into two segments. It is important to keep in mind that if the parties agree to another schedule (for example, alternating weeks in the summer), the schedule set forth in the Guidelines can be modified.
During any extended summer period of more than two consecutive weeks with either parent, the other parent shall have the benefit of the regular parenting time schedule, which includes alternating weekends and mid-week parenting time, unless it is not feasible due to distance created by out of town vacations.
An important factor to keep in mind when selecting your summer parenting time schedule is how the summer holidays affect that selection. If you select the week of July 4th as your summer parenting time, and it is the other parent’s holiday, your child will be with the other parent during that holiday. Section II, Paragraph F(1) “Conflicts Between Regular and Holiday Weekends” of the Guidelines states that the holiday parenting time schedule should take priority over regularly scheduled and extended parenting time. Extended parenting time (summer parenting time) takes priority over regular parenting time. Again, if you and the other parent agree to an alternative schedule, you are free to modify the schedule. The holidays that effect summer parenting time are usually Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Father’s Day. The parenting time for summer holidays are:
Memorial Day starts on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and continues through Monday at 7:00 p.m.
Father’s Day starts on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and continues through Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
Fourth of July starts on July 3rd at 6:00 p.m. and continues until 10:00 a.m. on July 5th
If you’re used to alternating weekends with the other parent, that may end when the non-custodial parent elects his or her summer vacation time. Summer parenting time, or extended parenting time, takes precedence over regular parenting time. Therefore, the non-custodial parent does not continue the regular schedule in addition to the extended schedule, unless the time with each parent is greater than two consecutive weeks. When summer break is over, you revert back to the same schedule of weekends that you had prior to summer break.
If you or someone you know has questions about summer parenting time or need assistance in obtaining parenting time during the summer, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Beckman Lawson.