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Comparing 50/50 and 60/40 Physical Custody: The 3-4-4-3 and 4-3 Schedules

Updated on February 11, 2012

The difference between 50/50 and 60/40 physical custody.

Child custody is represented as a percentage of your child's time. The parent awarded with the most time is listed first. With a 50/50 schedule, the child spends half of his time with one parent and half the time with the other. The 60/40 schedule has the child with one parent 60% of the time and the other 40% of the time.

50/50 joint physical custody is definitely the "hot" option right now. Many people really promote this schedule because the child is a part of both parents lives and homes instead of living with one parent and having "visitation" a few times from the other parent.

This is an ideal situation but there are many things a court will look at before awarding this type of custody.

These are:

-Do both parents live in close proximity to the school and each other?

-Do they each have their own stable home environment?

-Can both parents communicate civilly with each other to discuss the many aspects of jointly raising the child?

60/40 physical custody is another alternative to the 50/50 where the child is a routine part of both parents lives. The biggest difference with this schedule is one parent is given 10% more time. This may be done for a variety of reasons:

-The courts or parents determine it is in the child's best interest to spend a small amount of time more with one parent.

-One parent fights for it because if gives them a "controlling" share of the child.

-It fits the lifestyles of the family better than 50/50 because of school, work, etc.

With 60/40 custody both parents have the child for a significant portion so the courts may also look at the three questions about the parents under the 50/50 schedule. They also will help determine the success of the 60/40 schedule.

3-4-4-3 Custody Schedule

An option onder 50/50 physical custody.

This schedule is one of the more popular schedules to choose from if you have 50/50 joint custody. Your child will spend the first three nights of the week with one parent and the last four days with the other parent. The following week, it switches so the first parent has four days and the second parent has three.

It is a great schedule but one parent has every weekend. Depending on your situation, this may or may not work for you. a strength of this schedule is there is some back and forth but not as much as many 50/50 schedules. It is more firm as well and can be easier for everyone to schedule their lives with work, activities, and school.

Below is a visual calendar of the 3-4-4-3 schedule created on the Custody X Change software. Time with the mother is represented in pink and the father is represented in blue.

3-4-4-3 Custody Schedule Example

This schedule has a two week rotation. It is simple and easy to follow.

4-3 Custody Schedule

An option under 60/40 physical custody.

The 4-3 schedule is a really easy schedule to create. There are many ways you can change the schedule to work for your situation. Basically your child stays with one parent four nights of the week and three nights with the other.

The benefits of this schedule is that the child spends time with both parents each week but there is not too much switching around. Depending on how you decide to handle the nights may cause some issues.

Some people choose to follow this schedule where one parent gets the three weekend nights. This schedule is also known as an every weekend schedule. Some families rotate the nights so one week the three days are at the beginning and the next they are at the end. It really is your choice with this schedule. You can switch it to fit your needs as long as one parent has four nights and the second parent has three nights.

Below is a basic example of this schedule created in Custody X Change software. Time with the mother is represented in pink and the father blue.

4-3 Custody Schedule Example

This is a basic example fo the 4-3 schedule. It is currently a one week rotation but if you decide to alternate weekends it may change to a two week rotation.


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