Every 3rd Weekend: Custody & Visitation Schedules

In the every 3rd weekend schedule, the child lives with one parent and visits the other parent every 3rd weekend.

The visit will not always fall on the 3rd weekend of a calendar month.

This is how it looks in the calendar.

The basic every 3rd weekend schedule gives one parent a little more than 85% of the time with the child and the other parent a little less than 15%.

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Every 3rd weekend schedule examples

You can customize the every 3rd weekend schedule so it works better for you. Here are some example schedules with changes you can make.

Change the weekend times

Change the times of the weekend visit. Here the weekend starts at 10:00 am on Friday and goes to noon on Monday.

Change the weekend days

Shift the days of the weekend visit. Here the weekend visit starts at 12:00 pm on Thursday and ends at 5:00 pm on Sunday.

Add midweek visits

Add visits during the week. Here there's a midweek visit on Wednesday afternoons.

Add overnight visits

Add overnight visits during the week. Here, when the parent doesn't have the weekend with the child, they have a Thursday overnight visit. (The weekend also starts on Thursday for consistency.)

Use 3rd-party time

Include 3rd party time when the child isn't with either parent. Here is a schedule that shows when the child is in school. Showing 3rd party time will probably change the timeshare percentages of the parents.

Calculate your time

You can use a visitation timeshare calculator as you look at options for your schedule. This allows you to explore different schedules and see the amount of time parents get with each one.

Pros and cons of an every 3rd weekend schedule


  • This schedule works well for parents who live far away from each other.
  • This schedule can work for a child who needs one main home and a lot of consistency.
  • This schedule is simple and easy to remember.
  • This schedule can work around different types of work schedules.
  • This schedule can work for high-conflict situations.


  • One parent has substantially more time with the child and can cause fighting about the schedule.
  • The child goes a long time between visits with the parent who has every 3rd weekend.
  • The parent who only has weekend time doesn't participate in the child's weekday routine.
  • The parent who only has weekend time may not know what's going on with the child in school or other activities.
  • This schedule can conflict with weekend activities like the child's sporting events.

The easiest way to make an every 3rd weekend 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, choose "custom repeating rate." Set your schedule to repeat every three weeks.

On Step 3, give the weekend parent their time for one visit. The app will automatically give the remaining days in the three-week cycle to the other parent.

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.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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Explore examples of common schedules

Explore common schedules

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Long distance schedules

Third party schedules


Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

Changing your plan

Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

Product features:

Software overview

Printable calendars

Parenting plan templates

Journal what happens

Expense sharing

Parenting time tracking

Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

Succeed by negotiating

Prepare for mediation

Get ready for court


Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

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