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How to Calculate Parent Time Percentages

by Erica Loop

Between the years 2006 and 2010, 32 percent of marriages ended in divorce after 10 years and 40 percent after 15 years of marriage, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Survey of Family Growth. If you're going through a divorce, these statistics show that you're not alone. Although the emotional effects of separation are undeniable, an array of legal issues also come along with divorce. Couples who have children need to agree on a custodial timeshare and to calculate a parent time percentage. This percentage won't only dictate how much time each of you will spend with the kids; it will also influence child support payments.

Break down the number of hours that your child will spend with you per month. For example, if your child spends one weekend with you per month that equals 48 hours. If the weekend is extended into the following Monday -- or starts early on Friday morning -- count it as 60 hours, adding on the additional 12. Use this type of calculation to determine all of the hours per month that you need to list. This may include weekends, extended weekends and week days.

Multiply each month's hours by 12 to get your yearly total. Calculate each type of parent time and list it separately. For example, calculate alternating weekend annual hours and then move on to the hours that your child spends during the wee with you.

Divide the number of annual hours by 24 to get the number of days.

Calculate the annual percentage. Divide the number of days by 365 days -- in a year. Multiply the total by 100 to get the percent time that you will spend with your child. Keep in mind that this is only the time for one specific type of visitation, such as weekend or weekday stays.

Include special or extra days to your calculation list. These include holidays or school vacation days that your child may spend with you.

Use a parenting time calculator. This allows you to get totals without actually having to do the math yourself. You can find parent time calculators available for free online. For example, the Oregon Department of Justice's Child Support program offers an online calculator for divorcing couple's in the state. Fill in or select check boxes for the overnights, holidays and any other time you plan to spend with your child. Click on total or populate to get an answer. Some calculators give you an actual calendar, as well.

Warnings

  • The percentage of parent time isn't the same as child support percentages. Even though you'll need to know your time percentage to figure out -- or have the courts calculate -- your child support payments, these two numbers are different.
  • Check with your attorney for state guidelines. Some states may have different percentage rules or requirements for making calculations.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images