With the 80-20 split, one of the parents acts as the primary caretaker (at 80% of the time). With this very unequal division of time, your child has a home base at Parent A’s house, rather than at two different homes. This schedule is likely to work best if 1) one parent travels often for work, 2) the two co-parents live far apart, or 3) your child cannot adjust to a constantly changing environment and needs a primary home base. There are 5 main types of 80 20 custody schedules:
Children are living with Parent A most of the time, and spend every other weekend with Parent B.
1st, 3rd, 5th weekends:
Children are living with Parent A most of the time, and spend the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend of every month with Parent B.
2nd, 4th, 5th weekends:
Children are living with Parent A most of the time, and spend the 2nd, 4th and 5th weekend of every month with Parent B.
Every 3rd weekend:
Children are living with Parent A most of the time, and spend every third weekend with Parent B.
For all of the above arrangements, Parent A is the primary caregiver and the “home base”, but Parent B is still involved, on weekends.Sole custody with mid-week visits:
In this arrangement, children live with Parent A most of the time, with occasional mid-week visits to Parent B. For example, Parent B might pick the kids up from school on Wednesday afternoon, and bring them back to Parent A’s house before bedtime on Wednesday, or keep them overnight and drop them off at school on Thursday morning.
In all of the 80-20 custody schedules, there’s a significant discrepancy in the amount of time that children spend with the primary vs. secondary parent. To maintain a strong relationship with the kids, it is important that the secondary parent stays in regular contact with the kids via texting, phone calls, video calls, and/or attend school events whenever possible.