Erica understands that determining an appropriate parenting schedule can be challenging. Here, she outlines the 80/20 custody schedule.
Are You Considering an 80/20 Parenting Plan?
Are you thinking about adopting an 80/20 custody schedule? Simply put, an 80/20 custody schedule is when one parent has primary physical custody with 80% of the parenting time, and the other parent has 20% of the parenting time or about six days per month.
This parenting plan can be put into place when one parent has primary physical custody or sole physical custody, and the parent with 20% of the parenting time has visitation rights. The specific legal terminology will depend on your state.
Let's take a look at some of the most common questions that arise when families are considering this custody arrangement:
- What is 80/20 custody?
- Who typically uses an 80/20 custody schedule?
- What are the pros and cons of an 80/20 custody schedule?
- What are some examples of an 80/20 custody schedule?
- What should I consider when I'm thinking about adopting an 80/20 custody schedule?
1. What Is 80/20 Custody?
80/20 custody is a parenting schedule where your child will spend 80% of their time with one parent and 20% of their time with the other parent. This allows your child to have one stable home environment while still developing a strong and stable relationship with the other parent.
2. Who Typically Uses an 80/20 Custody Schedule?
An 80/20 custody schedule can be used for a variety of reasons—the proximity of parents to each other, history of parental behavior, work/school schedules, and the best interest of the child are all considered when determining a custody schedule.
3. What Are the Pros and Cons of 80/20 Custody?
- This schedule does not have as many requirements as other schedules, so it is more frequently used.
- It works well for parents who live more than 30 minutes away from each other.
- The child has one stable home base and is not moving back and forth from home to home frequently. This makes it easier for them in school, with friends, and with other activities.
- They do not see the other parent very frequently.
- More travel is usually required for the parents and children for visits.
4. What Are Some Examples of an 80/20 Custody Schedule?
There are many schedules for you to use if you have 80/20 custody. Most of the schedules have the child living with one parent during the week, with weekends rotating between parents. There are two schedules where the weekends with the other parent are assigned.
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The first example is the 1st, 2nd, and 5th weekends custody schedule. The second example is the 2nd, 4th, and 5th weekends custody schedule. These are great schedules because the weekends are pre-assigned, and each parent knows when their child will be with them.
5. What Should I Consider if I'm Thinking About Adopting an 80/20 Custody Schedule?
If you are considering or have been assigned 80/20 custody by the court, there are a few things you want to think about.
This Schedule Can Be Disappointing for the Noncustodial Parent
First of all, this schedule might not be an ideal result for you. Many parents who only have their child 20% of the time are usually disappointed they don't have more time with their child.
This can be for a variety of reasons, but resolve to make it the best situation possible. Be a good example to your child. If you are the parent with 80% custody, be sensitive to the other parent and their possible disappointment.
Depending on the circumstances that resulted in this custody arrangement, you may be able to request a modification later on if your circumstances change. For example, perhaps you move closer to the primary custodial parent and would like to request more parenting time.
In some cases, you may be able to discuss and agree to proposed changes to the custody or visitation schedule with the other parent or in mediation. Consult with an attorney if you are seeking a change in custody.
You Should Do Your Best to Get Along With the Other Parent
Second, you want to be able to get along with the other parent. If you and your spouse or partner have recently separated or there has been a recent change in the custody schedule, your child is going through many changes and has a lot of fears.
Fighting with the other parent will only cause increased stress in your child's life. Let go of what happened in the past, and move toward a good co-parenting relationship. If necessary, co-parent counseling can be a great resource for parents who struggle to communicate regarding their children's needs. Apps and other software programs are available to aid in co-parent communication and scheduling.
No Matter What Your Custodial Timeshare Is, Make the Most of It
Finally, make the most of your time with your child. I know two fathers who have a 20% custodial timeshare of their child(ren).
One of them sometimes does not take advantage of his visits. He will cancel at the last minute. Other weekends when he has his daughter, he rents 5–7 movies and has her watching them at his home. His daughter is beautiful and amazing, and he is missing the opportunity to have a great relationship with her.
The second father loves his children and strategically plans their visits. Often, he will include a work or learning time, so he teaches them his values and what he thinks is important. He will often have a fun activity for his children as well. They love coming and spending time with him because they get his undivided attention and then get to go have fun together.
This also applies to parents with an 80% custodial timeshare. Spend quality time with your children and let them know how much you love them. Teach them what you want them to learn and show them that no matter what happens in life, they can count on you to be there for them.
What Are Some Other Parenting Schedules?
Other visitation and custody schedules include a 50/50 parenting plan, which can be a week-on week-off schedule (one week with Parent A and one week with Parent B), 2-2-3 (two days with Parent A, two days with Parent B, three days with Parent A, and so on) 2-2-5-5 (two days with Parent A, two days with Parent B, five days with Parent A, five days with Parent B, and so on), or another equitable arrangement.
Some parents utilize a 70/30 parenting plan, where one parent has the children on the weekdays, and the other parent has visitation on the weekends.
How Are Parenting Plans Determined?
Parenting plans will vary by state, and again, the court considers several factors, including the child's age (for example, a week-on week-off schedule wouldn't make sense for a three-month-old), the proximity of the parents, the child's emotional ties to each parent, whether there's a history of domestic violence, where the child goes to school, and more.
Paramount is the best interest of the child, and that includes the primary custodial parent's ability to facilitate and promote the child's relationship with the noncustodial parent. Whatever your situation, an 80/20 parenting plan may be best for you and your family.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Daddyis247 on May 24, 2018:
Love the words of wisdom and how focused on the children's well being this article seems.
Just got done reading a mile long conversation where all I heard was, "this doesn't work FOR ME" and "try proposing this, I've found it much easier to schedule"
Well all I want for my little girls is what is best for them, what is going to give them the best chance of success and healthiest development so they can still reach their potential.