Holiday parenting time is often a source of confusion. Since 2013 it has been even more complicated as are there are two sets of Guidelines what may apply. For information about which set of Guidelines apply to your situation, please see my general Parenting Time Guidelines page. This posting addresses only Holiday Parenting Time under the current Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, not the 'old' Guidelines.
Holiday parenting time is controlled by when a child is out of school, therefore, your situation may not follow this interpretation. The posting assumes the Carmel Clay, Hamilton Southeastern or Noblesville 2018-2019 School Calendars, which each have a Winter Break from Friday, December 21st until Tuesday, January 8th.
The Guidelines provide the following schedule:
HOLIDAY PARENTING TIME SCHEDULE:
The Christmas vacation shall be defined as beginning on the last day of school and ending the last day before school begins again. Absent agreement of the parties, the first half of the period will begin two hours after the child is released from school. The second half of the period will end at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school begins again. Each party will receive one half (1/2) of the total days of the Christmas vacation, on an alternating basis as follows:
1. In even numbered years, the custodial parent shall have the first one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation and non-custodial parent shall have the second one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation.
2. In odd numbered years, the non-custodial parent shall have the first one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation and custodial parent shall have the second one half (1/2) of the Christmas vacation.
3. In those years when Christmas does not fall in a parent’s week, that parent shall have the child from Noon to 9:00 P.M. on Christmas Day.
4. No exchanges under this portion of the rule shall occur after 9:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m., absent agreement of the parties.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day shall not be considered separate holidays under the Parenting Time Guidelines.
Thanksgiving. From 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday until 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, shall be exercised by the noncustodial parent in even numbered years and the custodial parent in odd numbered years.
After reviewing the Guidelines, if your child gets out of school on December 21st at 3:00 p.m. and goes back on January 8th, there are 19 overnights of Winter Break (including the 21st and the 6th as overnights, but not the 7th), and 19 full days (including the 22nd and the 7th, but not the 21st).
Using the Carmel Clay, HSE or Noblesville School Calendar, with the odd number of of both days and nights this holiday season is particularly difficult to determine. I am sure there are other ways to interpret the Guidelines, but a couple possible solutions to this year:
First, include December 21st as a day, and just count the days. The result is that there are 20 days, and the transfer would occur on Sunday, December 30th.
A second solution is go by the number of hours in the Winter Break, rather than days or overnights and give each parent 1/2 of the hours. There are 409 hours, so each parent would have 204.5 hours. 204.5 hours from 5 p.m. on December 21, 2018 would be 5:30 a.m. on December 30, 2018. HOWEVER, adjusting for the noncustodial having nine hours (noon to 9 p.m.) on Christmas Day, 1/2 half time moves back to 8:30 p.m. on December 29th.
On balance, and considering the custodial parent received an “extra” overnight on December 7th, receives both Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning, it would not be unreasonable to transfer early on the a.m. on December Sunday 30, 2019. Additionally, if we count December 21st as a ‘day’ then there are 20 days, and a transfer on the 30th would be on the 10th day.
One interpretation of the Guidelines for the winter holidays in 2018-2019 is as follows:
Thanksgiving Break (6:00 P.M. on Wednesday until 7:00 P.M. on Sunday) - with noncustodial parent in 2018; and
Winter School Break - with custodial parent from December 21st until December 30th, and then then the noncustodial parent would have the child on December 30th (or the 29th, see above) until 6 p.m. on January 7, 2019. However, the noncustodial parent would also have noon to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day.
Looking for the "old" guidelines? Go here.