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90/10 Custody Schedule


Understanding the 90/10 Custody Schedule

Schedule Breakdown

In the 90/10 custody schedule, one parent has custody of the child for 90% of the time, while the other parent has the child for the remaining 10%. The breakdown of time typically involves the child residing primarily with one parent during weekdays, weekends, and transitions. This unique structure allows for an extended and stable living arrangement with one parent, while the other parent has specified periods of visitation.


Potential Benefits for Children

  • Consistent Environment: The 90/10 schedule provides a highly stable and consistent environment for the child, minimizing the disruption associated with frequent transitions between households.
  • Routine and Predictability: A primary residence for the child allows for a more established routine, aiding in their sense of predictability and security.
  • Strong Relationships: While residing primarily with one parent, the child can still maintain a strong relationship with the noncustodial parent through regular contact, ensuring a meaningful connection.


Potential Benefits for Parents

  • Individual Time and Flexibility: The 90/10 schedule allows the custodial parent substantial time for personal pursuits, career commitments, or self-care, fostering a healthy work-life balance.
  • Reduced Stress: With a more extended period of custody, the custodial parent may experience reduced stress associated with frequent transitions, decision-making, and day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Maintaining Parental Bond: The noncustodial parent benefits from consistent visitation times, enabling them to actively participate in the child's life without the challenges of daily care, potentially reducing overall stress.

Examples of 90/10 Co-parenting Schedule

One Extended Weekend per Month: 

The One extended weekend per month custody schedule provides a unique balance between regularity and extended quality time for co-parenting families. In this arrangement, the child typically spends one weekend per month with the noncustodial parent, allowing for a more immersive and extended connection. While less frequent than some custody schedules, this approach enables both parents to maintain consistent involvement in the child's life while accommodating busy schedules or long distances. The extended weekend provides an opportunity for shared experiences, fostering a strong parent-child relationship. Communication and flexibility are crucial for successful implementation, ensuring that both parents stay engaged in the child's life and remain attuned to their evolving needs and preferences.


Other schedules that can potentially satisfy the 90/10 custody requirement:


Implementing the 90/10 Schedule

Logistics and Considerations

  • Transportation: Clearly define and plan transportation arrangements to ensure a smooth transition during the times when custody shifts from one parent to another. This may involve coordinating pick-up and drop-off locations and establishing a reliable means of transportation.
  • Communication Strategies: Establish effective communication channels between co-parents. Utilize tools such as shared calendars, messaging apps, or co-parenting apps to keep each other informed about the child's schedule, activities, and any important updates.
  • Managing Belongings: Create a system for managing the child's belongings between households. This may involve maintaining a shared list of essential items, ensuring that the child has what they need during each parent's respective custody period.
  • School/Activity Coordination: Collaborate on school-related matters, extracurricular activities, and other commitments. Both parents should stay informed and actively participate in the child's academic and social life, even if one parent has more extended custody.


Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Adjusting to Changing Circumstances: Recognize that circumstances may change over time, such as the child's needs, parents' work schedules, or other life events. Be open to revisiting and modifying the 90/10 schedule as needed to accommodate these changes.
  • Emergency Situations: Have contingency plans for emergencies or unexpected events that may require adjustments to the custody schedule. Clearly communicate and document any changes to ensure both parents are informed and prepared.
  • Child's Preferences: Consider the child's evolving preferences and needs as they grow older. Encourage open communication with the child, allowing them to express their feelings and opinions about the custody arrangement.


Communication and Conflict Resolution

  • Open Communication: Maintain open lines of communication regarding the child's well-being, activities, and any concerns that may arise. Regularly check in with each other to ensure both parents are informed and on the same page.
  • Collaboration: Approach co-parenting as a partnership, with shared responsibilities and a commitment to the child's best interests. Collaborate on decision-making and coordinate parenting efforts to provide a cohesive and supportive environment.
  • Conflict Resolution: Develop effective conflict resolution strategies. Consider using mediation or seeking professional guidance when disagreements arise. Prioritize the child's needs over personal conflicts and work together to find mutually agreeable solutions.


Potential Challenges and Solutions

Common Concerns

  • Limited Time with the Secondary Parent
    • Challenge: The child spending the majority of time with one parent may raise concerns about the noncustodial parent having limited time for bonding.
    • Solution: Encourage quality over quantity during the noncustodial parent's time, fostering meaningful and engaging activities. Regular communication and involvement in the child's life, even outside custody periods, can help mitigate this concern.
  • Emotional Strain for Children and Parents
    • Challenge: The 90/10 schedule may lead to emotional strain for both children and parents due to extended periods of separation.
    • Solution: Prioritize open communication and create a supportive environment for the child to express their feelings. Encourage parents to seek emotional support from friends, family, or professionals to navigate the emotional challenges associated with this custody arrangement.
  • Logistical Complexities
    • Challenge: Coordinating logistics, such as transportation and managing belongings, can be challenging with a less frequent custody schedule.
    • Solution: Implement clear and practical systems for transportation, communication, and managing belongings. Utilize technology and co-parenting apps to streamline logistics and enhance coordination between parents.


Strategies for Success

  • Quality over Quantity:
    • Advice: Emphasize the importance of making the most out of the time spent together. Encourage both parents to focus on creating quality moments and meaningful experiences during custody periods.
  • Regular Communication:
    • Advice: Establish and maintain regular communication between co-parents. This includes discussing the child's well-being, upcoming events, and any adjustments needed to the custody schedule.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability:
    • Advice: Cultivate a flexible mindset, recognizing that circumstances may change. Both parents should be open to revisiting and adjusting the custody arrangement based on the evolving needs of the child and the family.


Seeking Professional Support

  • Therapeutic Intervention:
    • Recommendation: If emotional or behavioral issues arise in the child, consider involving a child therapist. Therapists can provide guidance and support for the child to cope with the challenges of the 90/10 custody schedule.
  • Mediation Services:
    • Recommendation: Engage in mediation services if co-parenting conflicts become challenging to navigate independently. Mediators can help facilitate discussions, find common ground, and work towards mutually agreeable solutions.
  • Legal Consultation:
    • Recommendation: Seek legal advice if there are disputes or concerns regarding the custody agreement, financial arrangements, or other legal matters. Legal professionals can provide guidance on how to navigate these issues within the framework of the law.


Side-by-Side Comparison of 90/10 and 50/50 Custody Schedules

Feature 90/10 Custody Schedule 50/50 Custody Schedule
Time Allocation
  • One parent has 90% of the time, the other parent has 10% of the time.
  • Each parent has 50% of the time.
Potential Benefits for Children
  • Strong bond with the primary parent.
  • Minimal exposure to potential conflict between parents.
  • Stable and predictable routine with the primary parent.
  • Equal time with both parents.
  • Strong bonds with both parents.
  • Reduced conflict exposure.
Potential Benefits for Parents
  • Minimal time commitment allows for greater flexibility and individual pursuits.
  • Reduced potential for conflict with the other parent.
  • Limited financial responsibility for child's expenses.
  • Equal responsibility and decision-making.
  • More individual time for work, hobbies, and self-care.
  • Reduced financial burden of maintaining two households.
Potential Challenges
  • Limited time with the secondary parent may make it difficult to maintain a strong bond.
  • Requires significant effort from the primary parent to manage all aspects of the child's life.
  • Potential for conflict with the other parent over visitation arrangements.
  • Frequent transitions can be disruptive for children and parents.
  • Financial considerations for maintaining two households.
  • Emotional strain of balancing individual needs, parenting, and co-parenting.
  • Child's age and emotional stability.
  • Family dynamics and potential for conflict.
  • Financial situation of both parents.
  • Individual needs and preferences of both parents and the child.
  • Court order or legal agreement may dictate the specific arrangement.
  • Child's age and developmental stage.
  • Family dynamics and living arrangements.
  • Individual needs and preferences of both parents and the child.
  • Financial resources and ability to maintain two households.
  • May be suitable for situations where one parent is unable or unwilling to provide significant care for the child, or where there is high conflict between parents.
  • May be suitable for families with flexible schedules and good communication, and where both parents desire equal involvement in the child's life.



In conclusion, the 90/10 custody schedule, with its unique structure, offers both opportunities and challenges for co-parenting families. While concerns may arise regarding limited time with the secondary parent, potential emotional strain, and logistical complexities, there are practical solutions to address these issues. Emphasizing quality over quantity, fostering open communication, and remaining flexible are key strategies for success in implementing this arrangement. It's crucial for parents to be mindful of the child's well-being, encouraging positive experiences during custody periods and providing emotional support. Additionally, seeking professional guidance, such as therapy, mediation, or legal consultation, can be instrumental in navigating challenges and ensuring the child's best interests are prioritized. The 90/10 custody schedule, when approached with dedication, communication, and adaptability, has the potential to create a balanced and supportive co-parenting environment that benefits the child's growth and development.


Fact Check and Resources

In crafting this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:

  1. AAML New Jersey Chapter
  2. Planning for Parenting Time - Supreme Court of Ohio
  3. Oregon Judicial Department
  4. Office of the Attorney General Texas
  5. Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court

Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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