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Parenting Time HelpLine

Who we are

The Parenting Time HelpLine is a team of Indiana Attorneys with experience in the area of family law. Our team of attorneys have training in helping to settle disagreements in order to provide effective guidance to parents to work through their parenting time concerns. Our services are made free to the public through a federal grant allocated specifically to the states for the purpose of assisting non-residential parents in gaining greater access to their children.

What we do

The Parenting Time HelpLine is a free service you can use to talk about parenting time issues with an attorney. The Parenting Time HelpLine can give you legal information and help you get a better understanding of the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. The attorneys provide legal education, explanation, and resources regarding establishing parenting time, or enforcing a parenting time order. The helpline is available Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST by phone at 1-844-836-0003 or by email at Pthelpline@dcs.IN.gov.  The Parenting Time HelpLine is closed for all holidays observed by the State of Indiana.

Our Services are Limited

The Parenting Time HelpLine attorneys cannot:

  • Give you legal advice.
  • Review your case file, paperwork, or legal pleadings.
  • Help you fill-out forms for court.
  • Assist with legal custody and physical custody issues.
  • Answer child support questions or tax exemption questions.
  • Discuss your CHINS/DCS/CPS case, or discuss your visitation and parenting time order in your CHINS case.

Have Parenting Time Questions?

  • Call us: 1-844-836-0003
  • We are available Monday - Friday, 11am to 6pm EST
  • Closed State Holidays
  • Email us at: Pthelpline@dcs.IN.gov

Parenting Time HelpLine Survey

At the Parenting Time HelpLine, we are committed to ensuring we offer you the best possible customer service. To assist us in improving our programs and evaluating our customer service practices, please take a few moments to complete the following survey based upon your interaction with our program. SURVEY LINK

Resources

Legal LinksParenting Links and Information
Indiana Case Lookup
Coalition for Court AccessIndiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Indiana Supreme Court Self Service CenterIndiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence - Statewide Hotline 800-332-7385
Indiana Free Legal AnswersIndiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence - Admin  (317) 917 - 3685 or (800) 538 - 3393
Indiana State Bar Association Get Legal Help PageIndiana Parenting Time Guidelines
Indiana Mediator Registry Indiana Parenting Time Digital Calendar

FAQs


What is parenting time?

Parenting time is the time a parent spends with his or her child.

Where can I find help in making a parenting time plan?

Indiana has approved the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines which serve as a model to assist parents in developing a parenting time plan that is best suited to fit the needs of their family circumstances. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines consider a wide variety of factors that should be considered when a child’s time will be divided between separate households, such as the importance of frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with each parent and the age of the child, to name a few.  You can access the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines at this link  https://www.in.gov/courts/rules/parenting/index.html

How can I get a court order for parenting time?

Parenting time orders can be established in a court proceeding, such as: a paternity case, a divorce case, or a guardianship involving a minor.

Either party can request the assistance of the court in establishing a parenting time plan.  This can be done in several ways such as:

(1) The parties may file an agreement with the court with the parenting time plan that the parties believe is in the best interest of the child(ren).   The agreement should specifically state the terms of the parenting time plan.  It may also contain parts of the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines.

(2) If the parties cannot agree on what the parenting time should be, either party can request a hearing from the court to have a judge establish a parenting time plan/order.

There may be forms that can assist you in requesting a parenting time plan. The forms are not a substitute for legal counsel or legal advice. You may find it helpful to seek the advice of legal counsel before using forms.  www.Indianalegalhelp.org has forms and resources to assist you in finding legal counsel.

Do I get parenting time with my child if I sign a paternity affidavit?

Parenting time can be started when the parents sign a paternity affidavit.  A paternity affidavit can be signed by the parents in the hospital after the child is born or at their local health department.  A paternity affidavit gives the non-custodial parent the right to exercise parenting time under the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines.  For more information about paternity establishment by paternity affidavit, click https://www.in.gov/dcs/child-support/about-us/paternity/

Can parenting time be withheld because I am behind in child support?

The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines specifically states “Neither parenting time nor child support shall be withheld because of either parent's failure to comply with a court order. Only the court may enter sanctions for noncompliance. A child has the right both to child support and parenting time, neither of which is dependent upon the other. If there is a violation of either requirement, the remedy is to apply to the court for appropriate sanctions.” The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines also indicate that parenting time is to occur as planned and that it is unacceptable to deny parenting time to the non-custodial parent because they are behind in child support.

At what age can the child make decisions regarding parenting time?

The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines state that parenting time applies to children of all ages, including adolescents and teenagers.  At no time should children make parenting time decisions or decide whether parenting time should take place.

Will the Child Support Division of the local Prosecutor Office help me enforce my parenting time?

The Child Support Division of the local prosecutor's office cannot help with parenting time, nor can they provide legal advice on these issues.  The Child Support Program is required to assist parents locating non-custodial parents, establishing paternity, establishing child support and medical support orders, and enforcing payment of child support. For more information on Indiana’s Child Support Program, please see  www.childsupport.IN.gov.

How do I change or enforce my parenting time order?

If an established parenting time order needs to be changed or if either parent fails to follow the parenting time order, then you can seek the assistance of the court to help modify or enforce a parenting time order. You may want to seek the assistance of an attorney.  If you choose to file on your own, some forms are available on the Coalition for Court Access website at https://www.indianalegalhelp.org