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 of a month.


The every 3rd weekend schedule has the child living with one parent and visiting the other parent every 3rd weekend. Sometimes the visit will fall on the 3rd weekend of the calendar month, but not always.


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 lets you 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 visitation schedule will work best for your family. Your schedule should support your child physically, emotionally and mentally, while allowing him or her to keep 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
  • One parent travels frequently for work or has an unusual work schedule
  • A schedule giving both parents more even time with the child doesn't work
  • 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 than the other parent. If you decide on an 80/20 schedule but want to give the other parent more time, you can do that using a holiday schedule or a summer break schedule.

You can also give the parent with less time additional midweek or overnight visits. This may help the other parent feel more involved with 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 their child on the phone and through texting, video calls, online chatting, etc. This can help you feel like an important part of the child's life.

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

80/20 visitation schedules are typically considered sole physical custody schedules.

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

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

Make My 80/20 Schedule Now