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Summer and Vacation Custody Arrangements

Robert-M-Going-Jr-AttorneyBy Robert M. Going, Jr., Attorney

Summer and vacation custody arrangements can be challenging for divorced or separated parents. With children out of school, they must create a summer custody arrangement that accommodates their work schedules and children’s activities.

In most cases, this may require adjustments due to changes in a child’s schedule or new summer activities like camps or extended vacations. Understanding each other’s needs is crucial to creating a successful summer custody agreement.

A family law attorney can help parents develop an agreement that is in the best interest of their child while considering each family member’s specific circumstances.

This lawyer can help by exploring various summer custody arrangements, including joint or sole custody or a combination. Additionally, it’s wise to consider alternative options such as shared parenting plans or mediation to help parents reach mutually agreeable solutions.

Summer Vacation Custody Schedules: A Different Approach

When school schedules are no longer a deciding factor, parents can revisit their custody agreements to develop an arrangement that accommodates family summer activities. This may involve switching days, adjusting the duration of custody periods, or changing the proportions of custody. Parents may use one custody agreement during the school year and switch to a schedule that works better for the summer once school is out.


For example, parents with an Every Weekend Schedule may find that switching to an Alternating Weeks Schedule is now feasible. Additionally, parents who live far apart or in different states may agree to alternate custody during extended periods like summer vacations.

Not sure which plan works best for your family? We share some custody plans below.

50/50 Custody

A 50/50 custody arrangement is a joint physical parenting schedule where each parent has equal time with their children. The children will spend around half their time residing with one parent and the other half with the other.

This custody arrangement suits divorced parents living in the same area and can still coordinate a custody schedule. There’s no guarantee that the arrangement will have a smooth sail, especially if both parents work or the children are involved in extracurricular activities.

There are different types of 50/50 custody schedules. One popular option is Alternating Weeks Custody, in which the child spends one week with one parent and the following week with the other. It is a predictable custody arrangement that gives both parents equal time with the child.

However, children who struggle with spending a week apart from one of their parents will experience challenges coping with it.

The Two Weeks Each Schedule is another possible 50/50 custody arrangement. As the name implies, the child spends two weeks at a time with each parent. This arrangement usually requires fewer exchanges and may be ideal for parents who live further apart. Still, it can be challenging for some children to spend two weeks apart from a parent.

Another option is the Alternating Every Two Days Schedule. The child switches between parents every two days. This schedule is ideal for families with younger children who don’t want to spend much time away from either parent.

The 2-2-5-5 Schedule is a more structured 50/50 custody arrangement that requires a child to spend time with one parent for two days, then another two days with the other. They then switch to a five-day rotation. While this schedule allows for shorter periods of separation, it also means frequent exchanges, which can be challenging for some families.

The 3-4-4-3 Custody Schedule is another variation in the 50/50 custody arrangement that allows the child to spend three days with one parent and four days with the other during the first week. During the second week, the first parent has four days, and the second has three.

Lastly, the 2-2-3 Custody Schedule involves a child spending two days of the week with one parent, then two days with the other. They then return with the first parent for the last three days. This schedule benefits parents who prefer shorter separations. However, some families may find these frequent handoffs more challenging.

60/40 Schedule

With all custody agreements, it’s important to consider what’s practical during school, and what’s possible during the summer months and other school breaks. When a 50/50 custody schedule isn’t possible, some parents opt for a 60/40 arrangement instead. This type of agreement offers many variations to account for what works best for both parties.


The Every Extended Weekend Schedule enables one parent to have custody from Monday afternoon until Friday morning. The other parent takes over from Friday afternoon until Monday morning. This arrangement offers consistency and can include drop-offs at school or daycare, making the transition between homes smoother for the child.

Another popular variation is the 4-3 Custody Schedule which involves the child spending four days with one parent and three days with the other. The 4-3 custody arrangement suits parents who want to spend weekdays and weekends with their children regularly.

A 60/40 custody arrangement should not be split between weekdays and weekends. For example, parents could split the week in half, with one parent having custody from Monday morning until Wednesday evening. The other parent can take over from Wednesday evening until Friday morning.

70/30 Custody

The 70/30 custody schedule allows one parent to enjoy child custody for 70 percent of the time, and the other has the child for 30 percent. Different variations of this schedule may be more suitable depending on the situation.

The Every Weekend Schedule is a common variation in this type of custody arrangement, allowing the child to spend every weekend with one parent. This schedule can work well for school-aged children who live far away from one parent and want consistency in their routine.

However, it may require modifications if the child has weekend plans or activities, such as sports or social events.

Another 70/30 custody schedule that offers more flexibility is the 5-2. The schedule allows the child to spend five days at any time of the week with one parent and two days with the other. It allows the child to spend time with both parents during the week and share some activities.

The Every Third Day Schedule may be more appropriate for children who prefer short absences from either parent. The child will live with one parent for two days and then the other for one day. Although this arrangement requires frequent exchanges, it ensures the child has shorter periods of absence from either parent.

Finally, the Every Third Week Custody Schedule may work well for parents and children comfortable with extended absences. The schedule allows the child to spend two weeks with one parent and one week with the other. It suits parents who live far apart and need to plan for longer visits.

80/20 Schedule

In some families, an 80/20 custody arrangement offers a way to balance the caregiver’s job and the child’s school requirements. One 80/20 option is the Alternating Weekends Schedule, where the child lives with one parent and visits the other every other weekend. Many other options exist within the 80/20 format.

Navigating Custody Arrangements in Pennsylvania

Creating a custody agreement that satisfies everyone’s needs is no easy feat. In certain situations, an attorney is needed to ensure a fair agreement and ensure all arrangements are appropriately documented.

At the Law Offices of Going and Plank, we are dedicated to creating a peaceful environment for all parties involved. We aim to ensure that the children’s best interests are met while considering the parents’ wishes and concerns. Contact us to help develop a suitable custody arrangement that works for you and your family.

Want to find out more about child custody? Check out these articles from Going and Plank:

Tips for Long Distance Custody Agreements

Which Custody Agreement is Right for Your Family?

Avoid These Custody Mistakes

How Lancaster County Families Put Children First in Custody Agreements


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