Families often travel on holidays. Winter holiday travel can cause conflict between divorced or unwed parents of school-age children if they do not communicate when and where they plan to take the children on vacation. For emergency notification purposes, the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines require parents to communicate to each other whenever they travel with a child out of the area where the child and parent live. It is best that parents communicate this information as early as possible. This blog post will explain what information parents are obligated to give their ex before they travel with a child during the holidays.
The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines require parents to provide either of two sets of information to the other parent before traveling with the child away from the area where the child and parent live. Parents must provide either (1) an itinerary of travel dates, destinations, and places where the child or the traveling parent can be reached, or (2) the name and telephone number of an available third person who knows where the child or parent may be located. To provide clarity and avoid conflict, parents should provide this information as early as possible.
Winter holiday parenting time is established under the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines unless parents have agreed to a different parenting time schedule. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines recommend that over Christmas vacation, which is defined as beginning on the last day of school and ending the last day before school begins again, parents should split the holiday break equally, with the custodial parent receiving the first half of break and the noncustodial parent receiving the second half of break in even-numbered years and the parties switching that schedule in odd-numbered years. In years when Christmas doesn’t fall in a parent’s week, that parent shall have the child from noon to 9:00 pm on Christmas Day. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are not considered separate holidays.
Conflicts can arise when parents do not communicate ahead of time when they plan to travel with the children on vacation. To avoid conflict, it is important that parents notify one another ahead of time about their travel plans, especially around the holidays. Parents should make sure to discuss their holiday travel plans when they are creating or negotiating their parenting time schedule, and clearly set out in advance how and when each parent will communicate the details of their travel. An attorney can help you create a plan that will avoid conflicts related to travel on holidays.
If you have questions regarding your notification obligations for holiday travel this winter, please call (317) 825-5110 to speak with one of our experienced family law attorneys.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.