3 Factors That Impact Parenting Time Calculations

To adjust the data in your parenting time report, one option is to make changes to your custody schedules. (Of course, to deviate from a court-ordered schedule, you need permission from the other parent or a judge.)

But you can often shift your parenting time numbers without altering your schedules, just based on how you calculate. See three factors that impact parenting time calculations below.

Third-party time

There are likely times when your child isn't with either parent. Marking these periods as third-party time on your custody calendar excludes them from parenting time calculations.

Parents most often use the third-party label when their child is at school or day care. But you can use it whenever your child isn't with a parent: during summer camp, visits with grandparents, even sleeping hours each night.

Say you have custody during weekdays, and your child is in day care much of that time (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m). If you mark the day care hours as third-party time, you have less than 50 percent of parenting time most months. If you don't, your parenting timeshare is about 60 percent.

Using the third-party label can more accurately reflect the quality time your child spends with each parent.

Date ranges

Parenting time can change from month to month and year to year based on holidays, school calendars, when weekends fall and more.

At the top left of your parenting time report, adjust your date range to see how it affects your data.

Date ranges can have different results, so experiment. "Next 24 months" is particularly useful if you get a holiday or occasion every other year; it includes one year when you have the holiday and one when you don't.

Time versus overnights

There are two common measures of parenting time: total time and overnight visits. Some courts prefer one method.

Total time adds up the hours and minutes a parent has custody. Overnight visits are whenever a parent has custody past midnight.

The parenting time preview in your calendar center and on your printable calendar can show either measurement. Choose in your account settings.

Your Custody X Change report includes both measurements.

If one parent's visits with the child fall mostly during the day, the two measurements can get very different results.

Imagine you see your child from 3 to 8 p.m. each weekday, and the other parent has custody the remainder of the time. In a typical month, you'll receive about 15 percent of total parenting time, but 0 percent of overnight visits.

If your court doesn't specify which of the two calculations it prefers, look at both to see which more accurately reflects your parenting time.