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Joint custody schedules with examples

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2022 | Divorce

If there are children involved, joint custody is one of many processes determined during a divorce. Joint custody is a legal arrangement where parents share both legal and physical custody of their children. Children in California will share time with each parent and parents cooperatively make decisions about the children’s welfare and upbringing.

Understand that while there are guidelines, there are no set-in-stone rules for joint custody. To avoid conflict, the ex-spouses have to either agree on the terms and conditions of custody or have the court decide for them.

Schedule examples for joint custody

The impact on a child’s lifestyle greatly impacts scheduling. For instance, an alternating week timeline is only feasible if it doesn’t disrupt a child’s education or extracurricular activities.

What follows are general schedules for joint custody in a divorce.

Alternating weeks

Children live with a parent one week at a time. Both parents must have fully functional bedrooms and living space in each home.

Alternating weeks plus midweek visit

Children swap weeks with parents but the parents each get a visit so that children never go a week without seeing the other parent.

Alternating weeks with one overnight

Children return to the other parent’s residence one day a week during an alternating week schedule. The arrangement will be greatly influenced by the child’s needs.


Rotation is a strictly defined custody schedule and can be quite flexible as long as the parents agree on terms approved by the court.

There’s 2-2-3 where children stay with each parent two days a piece and the ex-spouses rotate three-day weekends. 3-3-4-4 is three and four days apiece. You also have 2-2-5-5.

It’s best if divorcing parents can negotiate the details of joint custody. Otherwise, judges, mediators and attorneys make decisions for the family.