How to Calculate Parenting Time

How to Calculate Parenting Time

When parents of underage children get divorced, two issues the court is going to always take into consideration are child custody (often called parenting time) and/or child support. States presume parents are going to remain responsible for bringing up their children, both by being present in their lives and by paying their equal share for the expense of feeding, clothing, and housing their child. A lot of states make individual stipulations for healthcare, day care, and other unusual expenses as well as the conventional child support calculations.

Child Support Calculations

When courts are determining the proper amount of child support, they rely on the method established by the state. Individual states have their own method. Child support calculations are made on the basis of the amount of money each parent earns, the cost of bringing up the children, and the period of time each parent spends with their children prior to and following the divorce.

If each of the parents make $100,000 each year, and each parent has their children half the time, neither parent is going to owe the other parent any child support. Nevertheless, if one of the parents has the children a quarter of the time, they are going to be presumed for paying child support in acknowledgement that the other parent has the children 75 percent of the time and is clearly spending their funds on daily essentials for the children.

There are 2 primary ways for calculating the portion of child custody each parent is going to have: By the hours the child spends with each parent or on the basis of the number of overnights the child has at each parent’s residence.

Calculating Child Custody Percentages by the Hour

Many states calculate child custody portions by the hour. Think about a schedule of every other weekend and Tuesday nights from 4 – 8 pm. Suppose the weekend starts at 4:30 pm Friday night and ends at 8:30 pm Sunday night. Every weekend is 50 hours of parental time. Multiply that by 26 weeks (alternate weekends) equaling to 1,300 hours. Add to that the 4 hours spent with the child every Tuesday night. Multiply that by 52, as the Tuesday night custody is weekly. This equals an additional 208 hours, for a total of 1,580. Divide that by the 8,760 hours each year for a sum of 18 percent custody.

Calculating Child Custody Percentages by Overnights

Think about the same visitation schedule of alternating weekends and Tuesday nights from 4 – 8 pm. In this situation, the Tuesday night custody time isn’t counted in calculating the custody percentages since the visit isn’t going to count as an overnight. Rather, only Friday and Saturday nights from the alternating weekend schedule count. Therefore, take 52 overnight stays and divide by 365 days for the year. This results in an outcome of 14 percent custody.

Regrettably, parents typically do not get to decide how the courts are going to calculate child custody portions. Alternatively, that calculation is part of child custody and child support laws for each particular state. Comprehending how courts come to child custody percentages, nevertheless, may inspire parents to look for alternatives, like keeping the children until Monday mornings, or taking the child an additional couple of hours a different night during the week, subject on how their state carries out the calculation.


  1. Funk, C. (2019, April 12). How to calculate custody percentage. LegalZoom. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Scottsdale

Our child custody and guardianship attorney in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.


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Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer

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