If a custody contract says to refer to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines if parents cannot come to an agreement on additional visitation, does that make the Parenting time guidelines the law? If a mother has to work, and does not ask the biological father if he would like to watch the child, and has the child's step father watch her instead, does that make her in contempt of court?
You'll want to speak with a family law attorney of your choice in your jurisdiction about your specific facts, but generally speaking here's what the Indiana Supreme Court says about the scope of application of the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines:
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SCOPE OF APPLICATION
1. Generally. These Guidelines are applicable to all child custody situations, including paternity cases and cases involving joint legal custody where one person has primary physical custody. However, they are not applicable to situations involving family violence, substance abuse, risk of flight with a child, or any other circumstances the court reasonably believes endanger the child's physical health or safety, or significantly impair the child's emotional development.
Variance from the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines does not alone constitute good cause for amendment of an existing visitation order; however, a court or parties to a proceeding may refer to these guidelines in making changes to a parenting time order after the effective date of the guidelines.
2. Presumption. There is a presumption that the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are applicable in all cases covered by these guidelines. Any deviation from these Guidelines by either the parties or the court must be accompanied by a written explanation indicating why the deviation is necessary or appropriate in the case.
The written explanation need not be as formal as Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law; however, it must state the reason(s) for the deviation.
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Disclaimer: This answer is not intended to provide legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship. Please seek legal assistance from a competent attorney of your choice. This answer is intended for education only. The information provided may or may not be appropriate for your particular situation.
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