A Co-Parenting Guide on What the 70/30 Custody Schedule Looks Like

70/30 custody schedule

Every separated parent worries about the best method to co-parenting. But what’s the best way to manage your joint custody schedule?

The 70/30 custody schedule is a popular method for many reasons, including the fact that it allows parents to have one main home base for their children. It also works well when one parent lives farther away.

If you’re considering your ideal co-parenting schedule, the 70/30 custody schedule might be best for you! What does it entail? Keep reading to learn more in this guide.

What Is the 70/30 Custody Schedule and Why Is It So Popular?

This child custody schedule allows a child to spend 70% of their time staying with one parent. The child then spends 30% of their time with the other parent, and both adults are able to be involved with their child’s life and time.

Since one parent will spend more time with their child, this schedule usually works best if parents live far from each other. This way, you can limit the number of transitions for your child from one person’s home to another.

This schedule might also be best if you have one parent who is busier than the other. This might be because one parent has a more demanding work life, or because they are traveling more often. The parent with the consistent home base and who has 70% of their child’s time at their home is considered the “primary” parent.

Developing the right schedule that works for your family can be a difficult process, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience! When two parents are committed to finding a schedule that will give their child the best of a consistent and happy lifestyle, the logistics become just another detail to sort out.

How Many Overnights Can You Expect?

One important logistic for both parents and for their child is the amount of overnights they can expect with the 70/30 joint schedule.

This schedule works out to 4 overnights for the non-primary parent. This ends up being more time than the “every other weekend” schedule.

There are several common schedules that can be used to work out a 70/30 custody arrangement. However, there are several important factors to consider when choosing which schedule will work best for you and your family.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Schedule

The first factor to discuss with your co-parent is consistency. What is the best method for making sure your child has a consistent home life? At the same time, how can both parents have a consistent schedule for their work and individual lives?

Another discussion you may want to have with your co-parent is about hand-offs and general communication. It’s so important for separated parents to be able to discuss the best methods of handing off their children for an easier and happier time.

You might also want to discuss your child’s routine. Does your co-parenting schedule fit with your child’s other life routines, like day-care or sports?

More importantly, your child will be spending time away from each parent, so it’s important to factor this into your schedule when deciding how to split up their time.

Common Schedules For Sharing Time

The 70/30 parenting schedule can be set up in several ways. There are four common methods for this schedule, including the every weekend schedule, a 5-2 alternate weekend schedule, a third week schedule, and a schedule for every third day.

Keep reading for a full breakdown of what each of these schedules entails.

The Every Weekend Schedule

This schedule would allow the primary parent to have weekdays while the other parent has weekends. This does leave the non-primary parent with less time, but the every weekend schedule does allow for a lot of consistency.

Also, depending on the child’s age, they might be in school during the week. Handing off the child every weekend helps to not break up the school schedule.

This is also a helpful schedule because the non-primary parent might have more time with the child on the weekends since they don’t have to be in school. This can help make up for the time difference.

The every weekend schedule also works for families with one parent that works or travels on the weekends, but it certainly isn’t the only option.

5-2 Alternate Weekend Schedule

Another method of working out a 70/30 custody schedule is with a more flexible version of the weekend schedule. This is a great option if both parents are hoping to spend time with their children over the weekends, or if one parent is hoping to have some free weekends.

A 5-2 alternate weekend schedule means that you start on any day of the week and five nights are with the primary parent and two nights are with the other parent.

This schedule will depend on what is best for your child, and might be best if your child is younger than school age. That way, their normal routines are less interrupted and each parent can spend time with their child during more formative years.

Every 3rd Week Schedule

This schedule is best for parents who want to spend longer periods of time with their child. By using this schedule, your child will live with the primary parent for two weeks and then the secondary parent for the third week.

This schedule would mean that the second parent is going to go two weeks without being with their child. This may not be best for some families. However, if one parent lives farther away and the child is not school-age, this could be a great option.

When considering this schedule for a school-age child, you want to make sure both parents live close enough to the school and to the child’s activities. This will help reduce interruptions in your child’s life.

This is also where communication is key between each co-parent. Since the child will be spending a bigger chunk of time with one parent, it’s important to talk about what happened while the child was with each parent.

If your child is young enough, they might hit some milestones while in the custody of one parent, like crawling or talking. This can be an exciting time for both parents with a lot of communication involved.

If your child is older, personality will also help you decide if this is the right schedule. Your child might enjoy spending a lot of time with each parent, or they might struggle with being away from one parent for too many days or weeks. This could cause anxiety, so discussing it with your child could be a helpful strategy.

Every Third Day Schedule

The last common version of the 70/30 schedule is frequently transitioning the child to each parent every third day. This will only work if your child can handle traveling between parents this often.

With this schedule, the primary parent, or Parent A, will have the child for two days, and then the other parent, or Parent B, will be with them for one day. The child will then go back to Parent A.

This can be especially easy if the parents live close to each other and have similar work schedules. It’s also important for you to have a good relationship with your ex-partner, since this type of schedule involves a lot of communication and transitions.

It can be challenging to pick the right schedule that will work best for your child. While each schedule is a viable option, it’s important to understand which one is best for your particular situation.

70/30 Joint Custody Schedule for Based on Age

Your child’s age is an important factor in deciding the right custody schedule for your family. If your child is an infant, it will be important for them to be with their mother for more of the time, especially if the child is breast-fed.

This also means that any schedule involving a lot of time away from the primary parent might not be best if you have a baby. A schedule like the every third day schedule might be best so that the child isn’t away from the mother for more than one night at a time.

If your child is a toddler, there’s a bit more flexibility in what they might be able to handle. The every weekend schedule is usually popular for toddlers since it’s consistent and allows the child to know what to expect. This type of consistency also helps a toddler to adapt to parent separation.

For older children who are in school, you might want to work with your co-parent to consider a schedule that will fall in line with your child’s school and activities. If one parent lives farther away and your child has sports or other activities on the weekends, the 5-2 alternate weekend schedule could work out.

Also, since your child’s needs will change as they get older, your schedule can also change. Staying in frequent communication with your co-parent will allow you to discuss what’s best for your child during different phases of life. This will also keep you both flexible and willing to adapt to your child’s needs.

What Else Should You Know Before Choosing a Schedule?

Other than age, you may have more things to consider before you settle on a 70/30 schedule, like making sure you’re following your state’s laws. While parents are able to choose which schedule works best, it’s important that they make sure they’re following the child custody laws in their state.

Additionally, other than meeting your child’s needs based on the school schedule, you also want to meet your child’s emotional, physical and developmental needs. For example, if you have a teenager, their social schedule will also be an important factor for consideration.

Previously in this article, I’ve also mentioned that location can affect what schedule works best. If parents live close together, they can have a schedule that involves more frequent exchanges for the child.

If one parent lives in another state, things might get more complicated for your 70/30 schedule. Creating balance and maintaining consistency remain important but become more difficult if your child will be traveling farther. Also, keep in mind that both parents will want to understand each state’s laws to keep making sure you’re following the rules.

What If You Can’t Agree on a 70/30 Schedule?

The best case scenario would put you and your co-parent in the best positions to be raising your child. In this ideal situation, you can communicate easily and your child is able to transition to follow the joint custody schedule with ease.

However, some parents, especially separated parents, have trouble putting their differences aside and finding the right parenting agreement and schedule that works for everyone. If you’re unable to make an agreement, you might need to rely on a standard custody agreement.

This type of agreement will give the non-custodial parent one evening a week. This parent will also have every other weekend with the child. The rest of the time will be spent with the custodial-parent, also known as the primary parent. 

Clearly it would be best for both parents to be involved in making the decision, and finding a more customized agreement. This way, you can also adjust the agreement easier as your child ages.

Get Help Organizing Your 70/30 Custody Schedule

Developing the right 70/30 custody schedule for family can be challenging. It’s important to consider all the important factors when deciding what will work best, but you can also get help to make organizing your schedule easier!

Check out the 2houses co parenting app for more help creating your schedule and staying on top of your custody planning.

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