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Reviewing Indiana's holiday custody schedule

With the onset of fall in Indianapolis comes the anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. However, many may not look forward to this time of year as others do (particularly divorced dads). Holidays are a time to be spent with family, and when one does not have consistent access to his kids during this season, feelings of isolation are often a constant companion. Indeed, according to information shared by Psychology Today, Christmas and its neighboring holidays produce the highest incidence rates of depression.

Yet divorced fathers do not need to feel as though they are excluded from seeing their kids during the holidays. Indiana state law provides clear guidelines as to visitation schedules during the holiday season as well as for other special occasions during the year. These can be found in Section II of the Indiana Rules of the Court. Specifically during Christmas time, the court determines a child's Christmas break to be from the beginning of the day school is dismissed for the holidays to the day before it resumes. Divorced parents are required to split custody evenly during this period. On odd-numbered years, the non-custodial parent will have custody during the first half of the break, and the second half during even-numbered years. On years in which Christmas Day does not fall within his custody period, he is allowed to have the kids from noon to 9:00 pm. 

On odd-numbered years, the non-custodial parent gets the kids from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm on the evening of Halloween, and from 6:00 pm Wednesday through 7:00 pm Sunday during Thanksgiving on even-numbered years. One other holiday of note (particularly to dads) is Father's Day. Divorced dads are entitled to custody from 6:00 pm Friday through 6:00 pm Sunday on this day every year. They also get the kids from 9:00 am-9:00 pm on their own birthdays. 

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Robert Schembs
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