80/20 Custody & Visitation Schedules: 4 Examples

Here are some common residential schedules where one parent has 80% of the time with the child and the other parent has 20% of the time.

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The alternating weekends schedule has the child living with one parent and visiting the other parent every other weekend.


The 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends schedule has the child living with one parent and visiting the other parent on the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends.


The 2nd, 4th and 5th weekends schedule has the child living with one parent and visiting the other parent on the 2nd, 4th and 5th weekends.


The every 3rd weekend schedule has the child living with one parent and visiting the other parent every 3rd weekend.


You can change these schedules to fit your situation by adding midweek or overnight visits, changing exchange times, changing visitation days, etc.

Using a visitation timeshare calculator as you make your schedule allows you to know exactly how much parenting time each parent has with the child.

Deciding if a 80/20 schedule works for you

There are many factors to consider when deciding what type of visitation schedule will work best for your child and family situation. Your schedule should support your child physically, emotionally and mentally and also allow your child to have strong relationships with both parents.

80/20 schedules work best when:

  • Your child does better having one home base
  • Parents live far apart from each other
  • One parent has been the primary caretaker of the children
  • A parent travels frequently for work or has a busy or unusual work schedule
  • A schedule giving both parents more equal time with the children doesn't work for the situation
  • Both parents agree on an 80/20 schedule they think is best for the child

The problem most people have with the 80/20 schedule is that one parent has significantly more time with the child then the other parent. If you decide on an 80/20 schedule but you want to give the other parent more time with the child you can do that using the holiday schedule or a summer break schedule.

You can also add extra midweek or overnight visits to the parent with less time. This may help the other parent feel more involved with the child and will change the parenting time percentages.

Spending physical time with your child isn't the only way to build and strengthen a relationship. The parent who has 20% of the time should make every effort talk to the child on the phone and contact the child through texting, facetime, online chatting, and other technological means. This can help you feel part of the child's life even if your child is spending more time living with the other parent.

Including 3rd party time when neither parent has the child in your schedule can give you a better idea of the quality time that each parent has with the children. 3rd party time may also affect the parenting time percentages.

80/20 visitation schedules are typically considered sole physical custody schedules. If you want a more joint physical custody you can give the parent with less parenting time more time with the child.

Custody X Change is software that creates custody schedules and professional parenting plan documents.

Make Your Schedule

Custody X Change is software that creates custody schedules and professional parenting plan documents.

Make Your 80/20 Schedule Now