The 182.5 – 80 Day Window

By Jedidiah McKeehan

When I talk to people about divorces involving children or custody cases, one of the primary discussions we have is, “How much parenting time will the worse/less involved parent get with our children?”

I give some version of the speech I am about to give you, 2-3 times a day. Here we go:

There are 365 days in a year and the courts will award every single day to a parent. And a parent only gets credit for a day when the child spends the night with them.

The worse parent will never do better than getting 50/50 parenting time. Half of 365 days is 182.5 days. That is their best-case scenario.

Only in very rare circumstances does anyone ever get less than 80 days in a year. People coming out of prison get 80 days in a year. 80 days equate to every other weekend, half the holidays, and expanded time during the summer. That is their worst-case scenario.

Again, their best-case scenario is 182.5 days. You will never just agree to give them this much time. Their worst-case scenario is 80 days. They will never just agree to get this little time.

This gives you a 100-day window within which to negotiate and try to come up with an agreement on parenting time. If you cannot come to an agreement, you probably need to file for divorce or custody and play out the legal process for a while and see where things fall but 95 out of 100 of the cases I do in this field fall with a parenting plan within this 182.5 – 80 day window.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties. He works in many areas, including family law, criminal, and personal injury. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.