The state of Indiana has specific provisions for child parenting time, the term that the state uses instead of visitation. Provisions apply to families where either parent is not a source of emotional or physical danger to the child. In the case of substance, emotional or physical abuse, the state can dictate the conditions for visitation, depending on the circumstances. The state regulates visitation based on the age of the child, holidays and breaks from school.
Visitation by Age
The absent parent has the right to visit children less than 3 years old three times a week for variable times, based on subcategories of age within the first three years. A parent can visit an infant 4 months old up to two hours a day three times a week and on holidays. The parent can also have the infant one night a week. As the infant ages up until 3 years old, the amount of time the parent can spend daily increases, up to 10 hours a day, three days a week. Once the child reaches age 4, the child can visit on weekends from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday night. The absent parent can also spend up to four hours visiting the child during the week. When a family has children of different ages, the rules in Indiana allow more frequent overnight visits for the youngest children.
Indiana laws concerning parenting time for holidays specify that the child spend Mother's Day with his mother and Father's Day with the father. The child may spend his birthday for 12 hours starting at 9 a.m. with the non-custodial parent -- when the birthday falls on an even-numbered year. The child may spend the same amount of time on the parent's birthday. When the birthday falls on a school day, the non-custodial parent may pick up the child at 5 p.m. and return her by 9 p.m. The non-custodial parent may have the child or children during half of the winter holiday break until school resumes in January.
Spring and Summer Break
Children who have long breaks from school can spend half the period with the absent parent, who must inform the custodial parent when he wants to have the child. If the child attends school year-round, both parents have to split the time equally between them. If the child has to go to school during a visitation period, the parent has to take him to school and make arrangements for pick-up. Children between 3 and 4 can spend up to four non-consecutive weeks with the non-custodial parent annually. The non-custodial parent must give notice to the custodial parent at least 60 days in advance for scheduling purposes.
Under Indiana law, the child's grandparents can visit the child if the grandparent's child has died or if the couple divorces. If a child is born to single parents, the paternal grandparents can only visit the child if the father of the child establishes paternity. Establishing paternity in Indiana involves voluntary registration as the child's father. If the son does not establish paternity, the mother of the child can get a court order, usually involving mandatory genetic testing.