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  1. #1
    elaine60 is offline Member
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    Indiana Parenting Guidelines?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana Several people have stated on here that in the state of Indiana that a teen has the right to refuse visitation. Could someone please tell me where it is stated in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines? Unless there has been an update on the guidelines I do not see anywhere in them where it states that a child or teen should be allowed to make that decision. Yes as children move into their teen years they may very well have a very busy schedule. Since when should this restrict a parent’s responsibility to be there because they are not the parent the teen lives with?
    One line that I did find in the guidelines states this: In no event shall a child be allowed to make the decision on whether scheduled parenting time takes place.

    Modification for parenting time can be filed by a parent if there are issues with the existing order but I still feel that both parents should have to go by the agreement that is in force until it is changed. Nowhere does it state in the law books that a person can just disregard a current court order.
    I also think that decisions based on actual fact and not hearsay should be taken into consideration when judges interview children or teens in chambers.

    The statement was also made at 16 they can decide, again where does it state this? I think for a parent to say that they cannot force their teen to go with the other parent is a cop out. What happened to teaching kids respect? Respect for parents, respect for the law.
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaine60 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana Several people have stated on here that in the state of Indiana that a teen has the right to refuse visitation. Could someone please tell me where it is stated in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines? Unless there has been an update on the guidelines I do not see anywhere in them where it states that a child or teen should be allowed to make that decision. Yes as children move into their teen years they may very well have a very busy schedule. Since when should this restrict a parent’s responsibility to be there because they are not the parent the teen lives with?
    One line that I did find in the guidelines states this: In no event shall a child be allowed to make the decision on whether scheduled parenting time takes place.

    Modification for parenting time can be filed by a parent if there are issues with the existing order but I still feel that both parents should have to go by the agreement that is in force until it is changed. Nowhere does it state in the law books that a person can just disregard a current court order.
    I also think that decisions based on actual fact and not hearsay should be taken into consideration when judges interview children or teens in chambers.

    The statement was also made at 16 they can decide, again where does it state this? I think for a parent to say that they cannot force their teen to go with the other parent is a cop out. What happened to teaching kids respect? Respect for parents, respect for the law.
    No one has said that the ITPG gives any leeway for a teen to decide to skip visitation. What has been stated is that many Indiana judges will allow older teens (16-17) quite a bit of say regarding visitation. Some will even give older teens the right to choose when and how often to visit. There is nothing "written" about this anywhere. Its judges using their descretion.

    On multiple occasions I have sat in Indiana courtrooms and have seen this happen. I witnessed one hearing where a 14 year old girl was refusing to visit. Her stated reasons were that she was bored at dad's because he didn't allow her to do anything, dad didn't spend any real time with her, and all she did was sit around watching TV all day. The judge did NOT put the onus on mom. The judge did the opposite. He told dad that he needed to get a handle on the situation, and spend time with his daughter, and allow her to participate in social activities during his time too. He told dad that if he didn't get a handle on it by the time the child turned 16, that the judge would NOT make her visit.

    I happen to see some wisdom in that because I think that forcing a teen to adhere to a specific schedule just damages the future adult relationship with the child, if the child is truly adamant. It makes them see age 18 as "freedom from dad/mom day". I personally think that parents need to be more creative in finding ways to spend time with their teenagers.

    There are very few parents that would be able to physically force a teenager into a car if the teenager was absolutely refusing. All they can do is impose consequences if the child refuses to go.

    I am by no means advocating that teens should be able to call the shots. However, some flexibility, creativity and compromise does not mean that they are calling the shots.
  3. #3
    elaine60 is offline Member
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    Some will even give older teens the right to choose when and how often to visit.
    The concept that a non-custodial parent “visits” with a child does not convey the reality of the continuing parent-child relationship.

    I witnessed one hearing where a 14 year old girl was refusing to visit. Her stated reasons were that she was bored at dad's because he didn't allow her to do anything, dad didn't spend any real time with her, and all she did was sit around watching TV all day. The judge did NOT put the onus on mom. The judge did the opposite. He told dad that he needed to get a handle on the situation, and spend time with his daughter, and allow her to participate in social activities during his time too. He told dad that if he didn't get a handle on it by the time the child turned 16, that the judge would NOT make her visit.
    Again was this decision based on fact or hearsay. I know of one instance where a parent was trying to actively engage their teen in activities and the teen would not budge from their room. Reason: the phone cord would not have reached that far. The parent was beside themselves trying to get the teen to even go outside for a few minutes. When asked what they spent time doing at the other parents house they said they stay in there room. So when a teen states they are bored it is not always because the parent is not trying to get the child involved in activities.

    I think that forcing a teen to adhere to a specific schedule
    It states in the IPTG, that parents need to teach a teenager skills that will help the teen in adult life.
    Teaching a teen about schedules would help a teen in adult life. College class schedules, work schedules. How many different areas in adult life encompass specific schedules!

    It makes them see age 18 as "freedom from dad/mom day".
    If what you state is true about judges discreation that will no longer be a concern.

    There are very few parents that would be able to physically force a teenager into a car if the teenager was absolutely refusing.
    At what point did the statue quo change? When did adults step down and allow children reign. I believe it was me that got up each morning and went to work to provide for my family. I don't remember my children bringing home the paycheck and paying my bills. Sounds old fashion I know but isn't that the very reason that I have gotten as far as I have. Because I had parents who taught me responsibility, repect, schedules and for everything in life there is a time.

    I am by no means advocating that teens should be able to call the shots. However, some flexibility, creativity and compromise does not mean that they are calling the shots.
    Flexibility, compromise, yes I agree. But why is it always the noncustodial parent that needs to be flexible and compromise. How much can a parent compromise when they only get one on one four days out of a month with their teen. Then too compromise does not really work very well when you have a parent who has given the teen the right to deny their other parent time but will not give up any of theirs.

    I do not want you to think that this is a personal attack. I just feel that more parents in the state of Indiana need to realize what it means if they split up and try to raise their children apart. Every parent in Indiana needs to realize that once that happens their children's lives are at the descretion of the court and no longer the parents.
  4. #4
    elaine60 is offline Member
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    If a teen is allowed to decide parenting time with either parent how will the courts determine child support. Child support in Indiana is now based on time spent with each parent. Just as a child needs to have both parents so does a child need to be supported by both parents. How would the courts be able to track this?
  5. #5
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaine60 View Post
    If a teen is allowed to decide parenting time with either parent how will the courts determine child support. Child support in Indiana is now based on time spent with each parent. Just as a child needs to have both parents so does a child need to be supported by both parents. How would the courts be able to track this?
    what happens in this instance if a default parenting plan is put into place. but the judge allows leeway for the child to decide whether or not to participate in the order. (i still think letting any child no matter the age decide is a bad idea)
  6. #6
    elaine60 is offline Member
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    I totally agree, I do not believe that a minor should be making that choice but in our state it seems once courts are involved its no longer the parents decision.
  7. #7
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaine60 View Post
    I totally agree, I do not believe that a minor should be making that choice but in our state it seems once courts are involved its no longer the parents decision.
    Correct, once the courts are involved, in any state, its no longer the parent's decision. I appreciate your opinions on the issue but this is not a forum for debate. Its a forum for legal advice based on the reality of the law and what is happening in the courtrooms.

    Everyone has different opinions of what should or shouldn't happen, and different opinions of what does or doesn't strengthen the relationship between teens and their parents. I doubt that there are any two members of this forum who think exactly alike on all parenting issues or family law issues.

    However, when people come here for advice we strive to tell them what legal reality is likely to be. Legal reality in Indiana is that judges tend to give older teens quite a bit of input into decisions regarding custody and parenting time. Judges in Indiana also speak to children more often in chambers than appears to happen in other states as well.

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