Indiana Parenting Time (Visitation) Schedule Guidelines

A parenting time schedule (formerly called a visitation schedule) explains when your child lives and spends time with each parent. It's often part of a parenting plan, which details your co-parenting rules.

In a settlement, parents agree to a parenting time schedule that they submit to the court for approval. When parents can't agree, each can submit a proposed schedule in a final custody hearing, and a judge decides parenting time.

Custody X Change is software that creates customizable parenting schedules and plans.

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A schedule should allow each parent ample time with the child. It's common, however, for the child to live with one parent more than the other. The parent with more time is called the custodial parent, and the other the noncustodial parent. (These parents often still share joint legal custody.)

The number of annual overnights the child spends with each parent is a factor when calculating child support.

The IN Parenting Time Guidelines and minimum parenting time

The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines suggest how much custody time the noncustodial parent should get at a minimum, based on the child's age. For example, for a 4-year-old child, the noncustodial parent's minimum time is a variation of the alternating weekends schedule:

  • Alternating weekends (Friday evening to Sunday evening)
  • An additional weekly visit of up to four hours, ending by 9 p.m.
  • Up to four week-long visits per year
  • Alternating holidays and school breaks (annually)

Parents can choose to follow the guidelines if that works best for them and their child. However, the guidelines are really meant to guide families in creating a custom parenting calendar.

The guidelines also help judges decide schedules when parents can’t agree. However, judges don't always order a guideline schedule as-is. If the noncustodial parent wants more than the minimum time, they often get it. And if the parent is deemed a risk to the child, the judge may order less than the minimum recommended time — and possibly supervised parenting time.

When unmarried parents sign a paternity affidavit, the father automatically gets the minimum time unless otherwise agreed upon by parents or ordered by the court.

If you opt to follow the guideline parenting time schedule, check that box on your court paperwork. Experts recommend making a visual calendar that details your exchange times, including for holidays and school breaks.

Making a parenting time schedule

When making your own schedule with the other parent, you can agree on any arrangement that works best for your situation — as long as it's in your child's best interests (which is determined by the judge who reviews your settlement).

Schedules giving the noncustodial parent at least the amount of time suggested by the guidelines are more likely to get approved (unless your case involves domestic violence or other safety issues). If you like a schedule that gives them less time than suggested, you can use holidays and school breaks to increase their annual parenting time.

When you make a custom parenting time schedule, the court requires a written explanation of it. Experts recommend also creating a visual calendar because it’s typically easier to understand and follow.

To create both a visual and written schedule, use the Custody X Change app, which guides you through each step. Make a visual schedule and the app automatically puts it in writing.

To help you reach an agreement with the other parent, create multiple calendars for negotiations. Be sure to tailor your schedule to your children's unique needs.

Common parenting time schedules

You have countless options for parenting time schedules. You can adapt a common schedule (like the ones below) to your family's needs or invent your own.

Equal parenting time schedules

In the 2-2-3 schedule, the child spends two days with one parent, two days with the other, and then three days with the first parent. Then, the schedule switches the following week.


In the 2-2-5-5 schedule, the child lives with one parent for two days, then with the other for two days, then lives five days with each parent.


Parents with long commutes between homes often use the alternating weeks schedule, in which the child spends seven days with one parent, then seven days with the other.

Schedules for other divisions of parenting time

In the every extended weekend schedule, the child lives with the custodial parent during the week and spends every Friday afternoon to Monday morning with the noncustodial parent.


The 4-3 schedule has children live with the residential parent for four days, then with the other for three days.


In the every third weekend schedule, the child lives with one parent and visits the other parent every third weekend. (The visit will not always fall on the third weekend of a calendar month.)

The easiest way to make a schedule

If you're like most parents, writing a parenting time schedule will feel daunting. How do you write something that meets legal requirements and doesn't leave any loose ends?

Custody X Change makes it easy. First, click and drag in your color-coded calendar.

Then watch a full description appear in your parenting plan.

The written description is what the court will enforce if your schedule becomes a court order. Take advantage of Custody X Change to make it as clear and thorough as can be.

Custody X Change is software that creates customizable parenting schedules and plans.

Make My Indiana Schedule Now

Custody X Change is software that creates customizable parenting schedules and plans.

Make My Schedule
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Custody X Change is software that creates customizable parenting schedules and plans.

Make My Indiana Schedule Now

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