While there are now many options when it comes to establishing a custody and visitation (or parenting time) schedule in California, many divorcing and separating parents choose a schedule that provides one parent with primary custody and the other parent with visitation every other weekend. In order to avoid confusion about scheduling, some couples choose to specify that the non-custodial parent will have visitation rights on the first, third, and fifth weekend of every month. Since not every month has a fifth weekend, on average, this means that the non-custodial parent will have visitation for slightly less than 20% of the year.
These are the First, Third, and Fifth Weekends in 2020
Whether you are already divorced or separated or you are thinking about bringing your relationship to an end, if you have children, it is important to make sure you know when you will have responsibility for your children’s care. With this in mind, here are the first, third, and fifth weekends in 2020:
January through March
- January 4-5, 2020
- January 18-19, 2020
- (No fifth weekend in January 2020)
- February 1-2, 2020
- February 15-16, 2020
- February 29-March 1
- March 14-15, 2020
- March 28-29, 2020
April through June
- April 4-5, 2020
- April 18-19, 2020
- (No fifth weekend in April 2020)
- March 2-3, 2020
- March 16-17, 2020
- March 30-31, 2020
- June 6-7, 2020
- June 20-21, 2020
- (No fifth weekend in June 2020)
July through September
- July 4-5, 2020
- July 18-19, 2020
- (No fifth weekend in July 2020)
- August 1-2, 2020
- August 15-16, 2020
- August 29-30, 2020
- September 5-6, 2020
- September 19-20, 2020
- (No fifth weekend in September 2020)
October through December
- October 3-4, 2020
- October 17-18, 2020
- October 31-November 1, 2020
- November 14-15, 2020
- November 28-29, 2020
- December 5-6, 2020
- December 19-20, 2020
- (No fifth weekend in December 2020)
Importantly, even with this type of regular schedule, parents can still run into some complications. For example, if a weekend straddles two months (i.e. February 29 to March 1, 2020), is Sunday still considered the “first” weekend of the ensuing month? We have assumed so in the list of weekends above. Additionally, it is common practice for parents to include special provisions in their parenting plans for holidays. So, since July 4 falls on a Saturday in 2020, how will this affect your parenting time rights, if at all?
Is a First, Third, and Fifth Weekend Parenting Schedule the Right Choice for You?
When deciding whether to pursue a weekend visitation schedule or some form of alternate parenting time arrangement, there are many different factors you need to consider. While the practicalities of your personal and professional life are certainly relevant, ultimately, California law requires parents to make decisions based upon the best interests of their children. Read our Child Custody FAQs to learn more.
What if You (or Your Former Spouse or Partner) Cannot Keep Your Custody and Visitation Schedule?
If you establish a regular visitation schedule and you (or your former spouse or partner) cannot keep your schedule, then you have a choice you need to make: You must either make arrangements to keep your schedule in spite of any conflicts; or, you must petition the appropriate California court for modification or enforcement. Deviating from a child custody order without court approval can have severe consequences. Read Common Reasons to Lose Custody in a California Child Custody Dispute to learn more.
Request a Confidential Consultation with San Diego Divorce Attorney Richard M. Renkin
If you have questions about child custody and visitation, we encourage you to get in touch. To request an appointment with San Diego divorce attorney Richard M. Renkin, please call 888-837-3564 or inquire online today.