What Is The Definition Of ‘Shared’ Custody?

pittsburgh divorce lawyer jana palkoQuestion:

If a mother has the children 17 days out of the month and the father has the children 13 days of the month, is this considered “shared” custody?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Shared custody is defined as substantial time with both parents. In other words, it does not have to be an even 50-50 division of time in order to be considered “shared.”

Custody is generally looked at through overnights meaning the courts where I practice count overnights, not the number of hours in a day a parent is with a child. Courts also look at the schedule on a 14-day basis because one week is an odd number of days.

The question becomes, then, how many overnights of 14 does each parent have? Seven of 14 would be equal 50-50 shared custody. Six of 14 (or about 3 overnights each week) is also considered shared. Five of 14 is moving towards shared.

Divorce Resources:

State Child Custody Laws

Partial custody would be what a parent has if he or she does not have substantial time. The quintessential partial custody arrangement is every other weekend, and perhaps a night during the week, for example.

The counterpart to partial custody is primary custody. In other words, if you have partial, then the other parent would have primary.

So, although your calculations don’t follow the idea of “how many of 14” but rather “how many a month” based upon what you are saying, it sounds like the father has about 3 overnights per week, which would be considered “substantial” time in my state.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pittsburgh Divorce Lawyer Jana Palko, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “What Is The Definition Of ‘Shared’ Custody?

    I live in California, and i would like joint custody of our son. My name is not on the birth certificate and In fact he is my Son and I live and work in California. I was not married to her,How do i go about filing for joint custody?

    Please Advise, Thank You

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