Alternating Weekends Visitation Schedules: 5 Examples

The alternating weekends residential schedule has your child living primarily with one parent and visiting the other parent every other weekend. It's also called the every-other-weekend schedule.

This is the alternating weekends schedule in the calendar.

This schedule gives one parent 80% of the time with the child and the other parent 20%.

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Examples of alternating weekends schedules

There are many ways to modify the alternating weekends schedule so it works better for your family. Here are some example schedules.

Change the weekend times

This schedule has exchanges Friday night at 7:00 and Monday at noon. You can pick any times.

Change the weekend days

This schedule moves the weekend visit to Saturday afternoon through Tuesday morning. You can have the weekend start and stop whenever you want.

Add a midweek visit

This schedule includes a Wednesday afternoon visit with Mom every other week, and it shows the weekend going from Thursday to Sunday. You can include midweek visits as frequently as you want.

Add an overnight visit

This schedule includes a Thursday overnight with Mom every other week. Because of the overnight visit, the weekend visits are a little shorter. You can include overnight visits as frequently as you want.

Use 3rd-party time

This schedule includes 3rd party time when neither parent has the child. Showing 3rd party time can change the parenting time percentages.

Calculate your time

While you look at schedule options, use a visitation timeshare calculator to show you the amount of time they give each parent. This can help you make a schedule that both parents support.

Pros and cons of an alternating weekends schedule


  • It works well for a child who needs to have one home during the week and a very consistent agenda.
  • There are limited exchanges, which makes life easier if parents live far apart.
  • The infrequent exchanges can also help prevent conflict.
  • This schedule can work well for a parent who travels frequently or has a particularly busy job.
  • It can work around employment schedules that change every week.


  • The child goes a long time without seeing one parent.
  • There may be conflict over the schedule because one parent has so much more time with the child.
  • The parent who has 20% of time misses out on the weekday routine with the child.
  • The parent who has 20% of time may not be as involved in the child's schoolwork or other activities.
  • This schedule may conflict with the child's weekend activities.

The easiest way to make an alternating weekends schedule

There's a lot to think about when you build a parenting time schedule. You'll want it to address holidays and school breaks, give the right amount of time to each parent, and work for years to come.

The Custody X Change app makes it easy. Just follow the steps to make a custody schedule.

On Step 2, select the "every other weekend" button.

Then, on Step 3, define when the weekend visit starts and ends.

For an 80/20 time split, the weekend parent should spend about 67 hours with the kids in each two-week period. You can also adjust the time split using summer break and holiday schedules.

To make a custody schedule quickly and affordably, turn to Custody X Change. You'll get a written schedule and a visual calendar that meet your family's needs, as well as court standards.

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Explore examples of common schedules

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