Custody Schedules

How Many Overnights is 70/30 Custody?

A 70/30 child custody schedule usually means 2 overnights visitation per week or, in more practical terms, 4 overnights per fortnight. Two nights out of every 7 is 29% visitation time, which makes it very close to a 70/30 percentage split.

About 70/30 Child Custody

A fairly common custody arrangement is to have a child (or children) live with one parent, the custodial parent, and spend around 70% of their time with them. The child also visits the other parent, the non-custodial parent, and spends around 30% of their time in his or her care (usually “his” care).

The terms custodial and non-custodial parent (or primary carer and non-primary carer) can be applied since the child is spending greater than 35% of their time in the care of one parent. Typically, the custodial parent is the mother and the non-custodial parent is the father.

Many parents with 30% or less custody complain that their time with the child or children is insufficient to develop truly close bonds. They may not feel as though they are a full parent, especially when they are given the non-custodial parent tag.

In contrast, more even custody schedules, such as 60/40 or 50/50, are usually referred to as joint physical custody or shared care. The two parents have equal or reasonably equal amounts of time when they are responsible for the care of the child or children.

More than “Every Other Weekend”

Since 70/30 child custody works out to 4 overnights with the non-custodial parent per fortnight, this amount of custody is more even than “every other weekend”.

Even if a child spent an extended weekend, from Friday through to Monday morning, with the non-custodial parent each fortnight, that would only be 3 overnights. So, the custody arrangement must include extra visitation time.

Let’s look at popular custody schedules for children of different ages. has detailed examples of these sorts of 70/30 child custody schedules. You can also create your own custody schedule using Timtab’s excellent software.

Every Other Weekend and Every Other Monday Schedule

For older children especially, a popular 70/30 custody schedule is to have an extended weekend with the non-custodial parent every other weekend plus a Monday visit after the weekend with the custodial parent / primary carer.

The schedule provides for a lengthy visit each fortnight. As well, the Monday visit means the child is never away from the non-custodial parent for more than a week.

Every Other Weekend and Monday, Thursday Custody Schedule

An alternative schedule is to shorten the alternate weekend with the non-custodial parent. Instead of 3 overnights from Friday to Monday, it can be 2 overnights: Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday. The extra day can then used to add a visit every alternate Thursday.

The advantage of this schedule is that children are never away from the non-custodial parent for more than 4 days. The disadvantage is there are more changeovers, with 3 separate visits per fortnight. The schedule suits younger children who are less able to tolerate extended time away from each parent.

70/30 Weekly Schedules for Toddlers

Toddler girl

For babies, toddlers and pre-school children, the best schedules are not of the every other weekend kind. The 4 overnights per fortnight are best spread out over 4 visits. That way, the child is never away from their custodial parent, usually their mother, for more than 1 night.

For toddlers, a popular schedule is to have an overnight visit every weekend, such as Saturday, plus a midweek visit every Wednesday. The schedule provides for consistent, predictable contact with each parent.

A simple weekly schedule can be defined in this case. For example, you could say “The child visits with the father each week from 5pm Wednesday to 9am Thursday and from 9am Saturday to 9am Sunday.” For such a schedule to work, the parents would have to live quite close to one another.

2 out of 3 Weekends Timetable

Another 70/30 parenting timetable, which is especially helpful for long-distance co-parenting, is 2 out of 3 weekends. The child visits with the non-custodial parent from Friday to Monday following a pattern of two weekends on and then one weekend off.

The arrangement gives 6 overnights per 3 weeks, which is the required average of 2 overnights per week. It is ideal for long distance travel since all visits are on the weekend. The non-custodial parent isn’t involved in school commutes except on Friday afternoon or Monday morning.

Custody Advice

Child Custody: Big Picture Advice

Seeking help before you start fighting child custody offers many benefits to parents and children. Most situations are rather benign and an amicable arrangement is achievable with little outside help.

Of course, if the situation is intractable, you may need advice or help from a professional. Remember, knowledge is power. If you need help figuring out how to approach your child custody situation, here are some things that you might want to keep in mind.

Family Law is a Specialist Area

Make sure you are working with a competent attorney. When it comes to disputes over custody, having a lawyer that is well versed in the workings of the Family Court is essential. A “regular” lawyer isn’t always your best bet in this case.

You will benefit from having someone who exclusively practices family and custody issues. These attorneys are far more familiar with the operations of Family Court (which is quite unlike Criminal or Civil Court).

Ideally, you want an attorney who is knowledgeable about working with children and knows what judges look for when they make decisions about what is best for the children.

You will be better off by hiring someone who has great knowledge of how to work with Child and Family Services as well. They should be experienced with working with the Department and facilitating mediation and cooperative decision making.

Consider Joint Custody Arrangements

What about trying joint custody? You may be surprised at the number of possibilities in joint custody.

  • Some joint custody arrangements work by splitting a child’s time exactly 50/50 between his parents.
  • Other arrangements include one parent doing the majority of the time while the other parent has visitation rights periodically.

Most judges will want you to at least consider joint custody unless there is an immediate danger. If you are seeking help for child custody, you should be ready to consider it.

A custody schedule is generally considered to be joint physical custody if the child or children spend at least 35% of their time with each parent. In contrast, an unequal split, such as 70/30 custody or 80/20, means you have a custodial parent and a non-custodial parent.

Cooperate with the Other Parent

Whatever you do, try to cooperate with the other parent of your children. This will make you both look better if you have to take the matter to court.

Look at things from their perspective. On the other hand, do not automatically give into their wishes or let them have their way either.

It is important, however, that you try to meet the parent’s needs or expectations if it is safe for your children to do so. Because, in the end, it is not about winning a prize for beating the other person. But it is about what is best for the kids.

A long-term focus is important as well. You are in this together until the child reaches adulthood, and beyond. What works for you when your child is a toddler may not be so great when they’re in their teens.

Parents who are thrilled to win sole custody when their child is small may have regrets later when they struggle to get a night off from child-minding duties. Parenting is a long and difficult task; one that is made much easier by parents sharing the load and maintaining smooth relations with each other.

Seek Child-Focused Knowledge and Advice

There are many reasons to seek child custody help. Regardless why you are, remember two things. First, remember that your child’s best interest are priority. And remember that knowledge is power.

Don’t be reluctant to get breakup and custody help!


Parent Separation, Divorce in California

If you’re a parent going through separation or divorce in California or another state with similar laws, you should know that the divorce laws can affect what happens with child custody. Here is an outline of the key legal points for separating parents.

No-Fault Divorce

California, along with other states such as Colorado, has a modern approach to the problem which we’ve customarily come to know as divorce.

In fact, the State doesn’t use the phrase any longer in the legal parlance; this course of action is labelled as a “dissolution of marriage” process. This particular change is actually part of an effort by California lawmakers to foster a legal environment that facilitates cooperation and pragmatism.

Consequently, California is a no-fault divorce state. You can’t file for a dissolution of marriage based mostly on the reason of fault. The only grounds which are acknowledged are irreconcilable differences and, additionally, incurable insanity.

The State would rather that married couples that are divorcing figure out an arrangement voluntarily that they both find acceptable, and this is going to be particularly true when ever there are children involved.

No-fault divorce means courts do not have to consider the “bad behavior” of parents except in custody matters. While marriage impacts are ignored, certain behaviors could impact on the ability of a parent to raise a child or maintain an effective co-parenting relationship with the other party.

Contrast with At-Fault Divorce States

Within states where at-fault divorce proceedings are allowed, allegations of marital wrong doings could possibly impact judgements of the court on the subject of issues for example spousal support and even child custody. This certainly does create an incentive to allege fault. Yet, on many occasions, any behavior that may be specified wasn’t the true reason for the relationship breaking down.

Suggestions of fault cause a lot of ill will and also bad feelings, and not many if any situations can be exclusively attributable to the activities of just one person.

The moment the judge needs to settle custody issues in an adversarial environment, one or quite often both of the partners are inevitably likely to feel as if they were not dealt with fairly. This type of lingering unhappiness will be an issue that will negatively affect any children plus make it challenging for the former spouses to communicate going forward.

Finding Common Ground

Ideally, parents can agree on custody. A high priority is agreeing on a suitable custody schedule, such as joint custody or a 70/30 schedule. Having a judge choose a particular timetable could result in both parties being inconvenienced and one party seeing their child or children too infrequently.

The great news is that most partners can and do discover common ground and move through the dissolution of marriage proceeding having agreed on the conditions. Some 95% of divorce or dissolution procedures are usually uncontested, and the progressive nature of the no-fault procedure helps to encourage the kind of cooperation that makes this achievable. The other 5% does remain and the court is there to make the final judgement any time no arrangement can be arrived at.

If you are going through a divorce or dissolution of marriage action in California, the only responsible way to proceed is with an experienced Californian custody attorney representing you. A good divorce attorney can offer the assistance you’ll need.