Can You Get 6 Months of Visitation With Your Child and Your Ex-spouse Gets 6 Months in Child Custody?

Can you? It is possible, yes.

Will you? Not likely.

Why? To get a judge/court to order that the child spends six consecutive months with one parent, then six consecutive months with the other parent, you would have to convince the court that such a schedule is a custody award that subserves the best interest of the child. It might be a good fit for some kids, but I believe that most courts would feel such a schedule would make it difficult for the child to forge strong bonds with both parents. The child might bond well with one parent in six months, but then feel as though the parent he/she has to spend the next six months with to be a stranger. And then the whole process repeats itself six months later. Most courts would likely favor a schedule whereby the child spends a few days at a time with each parent on a rotating basis. But if the parents lived a significant distance apart, so as to make going back and forth between the parents’ respective residences financially burdensome on one or both parents or physically and/or emotionally burdensome on the child, there are circumstances in which a “six months with Mom, six months with Dad” schedule would either be tolerable to the court at worst or make good sense to the court at best.

Side note: a schedule consisting of the child spending equal periods of time in the care and custody of each parent would not be a schedule that would designate one parent the “custodial” parent and the other parent the “non-custodial” parent or the parent exercising mere “parent-time”; it would be more accurately described as a joint equal legal custody (sometimes also known as simply an equal custody) award/schedule.


Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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