Making Your Parenting and Visitation Schedule

Regular / residential / school schedule

This is the regular schedule of when each parent has parenting time with their child. This is also called the repeating cycle of custody and visitation or the basic cycle.

A joint physical custody arrangement, or shared custody, gives both parents significant and frequent time with the child.

A sole physical custody arrangement has the child living primarily with one parent and visiting the other parent.

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50/50 schedules are joint parenting time schedules that divide the child's time equally between both parents and allow the child to be consistently cared for by both parents.

60/40 schedules give one parent 60% of the time with the child and the other parent 40%. These schedules are used with shared custody because both parents have significant time with the children.

70/30 schedules give one parent 70% of the time with the child and the other parent 30%. These schedules allow a child to have a home base with one parent but still spend time with the other parent.

80/20 schedules are usually sole custody schedules where the child lives with one parent 80% of the time and visits the other parent 20% of the time.

Summer break schedule

A summer break schedule is when you have a different schedule during part of the year. Usually, parents adopt a different schedule when their child is out of school for summer break or for other longer breaks during the year.

To make this schedule, you come up with a new pattern that applies for a certain amount of time. You then decide on the start and end dates for the different schedule.


You can put each parent's vacation time with the child directly into the schedule, or you can use vacation allowances. Allowances give each parent a certain number of vacation days and let each parent choose their exact dates later (with advance notice to the other parent).

Some examples of vacation allowances:

  • "Each parent may take a vacation with the children of up to five days two times a year."
  • "Each parent may take a vacation with the children of up to two weeks once a year."

Holiday and special occasion schedule

The holiday schedule shows where the children spend holidays and special occasions.

The holiday schedule has priority over the regular schedule. This means that if a parent usually has the child for a weekend, but the weekend is a holiday and the other parent is scheduled for that holiday, the parent scheduled for holiday time has the child.

Considerations when making your parenting time schedule

Here are some things to consider when making your custody or parenting time schedule:

  • Your schedule is part of your parenting plan, which must describe your schedule in legal terms.
  • You can use a visual custody calendar to help parents, lawyers, mediators and judges make sense of a schedule at a glance.
  • Your parenting time schedule must comply with your state custody guidelines or the court will not accept it.
  • Certain types of schedules work better for different children's ages.
  • Your parenting time schedule should fulfill the physical, emotional, and social needs of your child.
  • If you have multiple children, you can have a split custody arrangement where each parent has custody of different children.
  • If one or both parents is in the military, you will want to include provisions in your plan about the schedule.
  • When parents live in different states, one state has jurisdiction over your custody proceedings and you should follow the laws of that state.
  • Parents who live a long distance from each other can set up a schedule with less exchanges to accommodate the travel distance.
  • When you and your child's other parent first separate you can make a temporary schedule until you have a permanent custody arrangement.
  • You can modify your schedule any time if you and the other parent agree to the changes. If you don't agree, you will have to go to court to have the schedule modified.
  • You can include schedule provisions and rules to help your parenting time schedule run more smoothly.

Get help with parenting and visitation schedules

Creating a parenting and visitation schedule on your own can feel overwhelming. You have to be sure to use airtight legal language and can't omit any required information.

The Custody X Change app takes the guesswork out of the equation by helping you build a schedule piece by piece.

As a result, you get a written schedule and a visual calendar. They meet your family's needs, as well as the court's standards.

For quick, reliable and affordable help making a schedule, turn to Custody X Change.

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Explore examples of 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


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