Alternating Weekends Schedule Options

In an alternating weekends schedule, your child lives mostly with the custodial parent and spends time every other weekend with the noncustodial parent.

Although the original alternating weekends schedule is as simple as that, you can get more creative to suit your family. For instance, you may want to include some weekday time for the noncustodial parent.

With adjustments, these arrangements can divide time between parents approximately 70/30, 80/20 or 90/10.

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These alternating weekend schedule options follow a two-week rotation, meaning they repeat every two weeks.

Alternating four-day weekends

In the alternating four-day weekends schedule, the noncustodial parent has a long weekend with the child (starting on Thursday or Friday) every other week.

This schedule is a good option for parents who want less frequent exchanges and longer visits for the noncustodial parent.

This example has the four-day weekend starting on Thursday and ending on Monday morning, giving the noncustodial parent approximately 30 percent of parenting time.

Alternating weekends with moving weekday visit

In this alternating weekends schedule, the noncustodial parent has a weekend every other week and one weekday visit every week.

The weekend visit can be Saturday and Sunday, or it can be an extended weekend (e.g., Friday night to Sunday night or Monday morning).

The weekday visit might be all day, a half day or a short dinner visit. It can be a different day each week or rotate between certain days, which makes it a good option when parents have fluctuating work schedules.

In this example, the alternating weekends go from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, and the weekly after-school visit switches between Tuesday and Thursday. The noncustodial parent has approximately 20 percent of parenting time.

Alternating weekend day with weekday visit

In this schedule, the noncustodial parent has one weekend day every other week and a weekday visit each week. The weekend day can stay the same or switch between Saturday and Sunday. The weekday visit can also rotate or be on the same day every week.

Depending on the child's age and parents' schedules, the weekend visit might be overnight. The weekday visit might be all day, a half day or after school.

This schedule is a good option when the noncustodial parent isn't available for entire weekends. It also works well in situations where the child can't be away from the custodial parent for too long, or when supervised visitation is appropriate.

In this example, the noncustodial parent's alternating weekend visit is from Friday to Saturday evening. The weekday visit is every Wednesday afternoon, giving the noncustodial parent 10 percent of parenting time.

Customize your schedule

You can customize these arrangements to meet your child's needs, based on their age and other factors to consider when creating a schedule.

Combine elements of each

Elements of these schedules can be combined — for example, you might have an alternating weekends schedule with a weekly midweek visit that doesn't change days.

Add third-party time

Third-party time is when a child is not with either parent — e.g., when they're at school or with a babysitter.

Adding third-party time to your schedule helps you stay organized and get an accurate calculation of each parent's time. Depending on your state's rules, you may be able to exclude third-party time from parenting time calculations.

This modified alternating four-day weekends schedule has third-party time for when the child is with a grandparent two days a week.

Choose your "weekend" days

If the noncustodial parent's work schedule gives them a "weekend" that isn't Saturday and Sunday, you can customize these schedules to make the alternating weekend fall on any days of the week.

For example, in this customized schedule, the noncustodial parent's alternating "weekend" visits are from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday evening, and their weekly visit is every Thursday afternoon.

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 give the right amount of time to each parent and work for years to come.

The Custody X Change app makes it easy.

To make any of the schedules above, just follow the steps to make a common custody schedule.

In Step 2, select the "alternating weekends" template. In Step 3, define your weekends, then click "Add or extend a visit" to add any weekly visits.

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

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

Make My Schedule Now

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

Make My Alternating Weekends Schedule
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