80/20 custody is a very long-established schedule for separated parents. Most parents will use an alternating weekends schedule but some find this type of schedule does not work for them. The solution to this problem is to have an assigned weekend custody schedule. The two available options are the 1st, 3rd & 5th weekends and 2nd, 4th, & 5th weekends schedules.
The only difference between these two schedules is the assigned weekends of the 20% custody parent. Choosing which one of the schedules is the best for the situation should be determined by you and the other parent.
1st, 3rd and 5th Weekends Custody Schedule:
With the 1st, 3rd & 5th weekends schedule, the parent with 20% custody has the child on the 1st & 3rd weekends of the month. If the month has a 5th weekend, they also have custody then.
2nd, 4th, and 5th Weekends Custody Schedule:
The 2nd, 4th, & 5th weekends schedule is the same but the parent with 20% custody has the child on the 2nd and forth weekend. Again, if there is a 5th weekend that month, they also have custody that weekend.
What are the benefits of having an assigned weekend over an alternating weekend?
The biggest benefit of having an assigned weekend is you always know what weekend you have your child. You don’t have to look at the calendar and figure out the rotation to schedule something with your child.
People prefer this schedule if they have very busy lifestyles, hobbies, or work schedules. Others prefer this schedule for the organizational aspect.
What is a disadvantage of having an assigned weekend custody schedule?
The biggest disadvantage is rearranging the schedule if something comes up on a weekend where the other parent has your child. You can ask for a change in the schedule but it is ultimately their decision. It is best to work with the other parent because you never know when you will need the favor returned.
What else do I need to be aware of?
The biggest item you need to determine upon choosing this custody schedule is what constitutes the 5th weekend. Put this down in your parenting plan to avoid future issues with the other parent. For example, if the month ends on a Friday, is that considered a 5th weekend? Or does it have to end on a Saturday or Sunday? Ask an attorney or mediator how others define the 5th weekend.
In closing, having a 1st, 3rd & 5th weekends or a 2nd, 4th, & 5th weekends schedule is a great option for you. It is a great way for you to have a more organized custody schedule than just alternating weekends. Good Luck!
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