3 Factors that Can Impact Parenting Time Calculations

Your Custody X Change parenting time report can help you negotiate with the other parent, file a settlement, present evidence in court and — in some states — calculate child support.

Given the importance of these tasks, it’s crucial the data meets your needs.

To adjust the figures in the report, one option is to make changes to your custody schedules. (Keep in mind that to deviate from a court-ordered schedule, you need permission from the other parent or a judge.)

But often, you can shift your parenting time figures without altering your custody schedules, 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 for periods when the child is at school or daycare. But you can use it whenever the child isn’t spending time with a parent: during summer camp, visits with grandparents, even sleeping hours each night.

Say you have custody Sunday evening to Friday evening each week, and your child is in daycare much of that time (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m). The other parent has custody on weekends, when the child spends most time at home.

If you mark the daycare hours as third-party time, your parenting timeshare comes to 61 percent. If you don’t, your timeshare is 72 percent.

Using the third-party label can make your report more accurately reflect the time your child spends in each parent’s presence.

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.

You may want to calculate for the next 12 months, for the next 24 months, by calendar year or using another alternative. Each range can have slightly different results, so experiment and see what works best for your family.

Time vs. overnights

There are two common measures of parenting time: total time and overnight visits. Some courts prefer one method over the other. (A few places, like Arizona and Santa Clara County, California, use other calculations.)

Total time adds up the hours and minutes when a child is in a parent’s care. Overnight visits counts how many times the child spends a full night in the parent’s care.

Your Custody X Change report automatically includes both measurements. Time calculations are represented by a clock symbol, and overnight calculations are represented by a moon.

If one parent’s visits with the child fall mostly during the day, the two measurements can get dissimilar 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 your results from both to see which more accurately reflects your parenting time.

Custody X Change analyzes your custody schedule to create a detailed parenting time report.

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