State by State Breakdown of Average Parenting Time for Dads – Which States Give the Most and Least Time to Fathers

A study commissioned by the CustodyXChange, just in time for Father’s Day, has determined how much parenting time fathers are given, on average, in each state in the United States. Somewhat surprisingly, the study found that there are twenty states that generally give equal time to both parents, in other words 50/50 custody. On the other hand, there are 24 states that give fathers less than 30% parenting time, and 7 states that give fathers and their children less than 24% of the time together.

In other words, while we’ve come a long way, baby, in the last twenty years, we still have quite a bit further to go.

 

The states that, on average, award equal parenting time to fathers and mothers alike are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

The states with the worst record for average parenting time to fathers include Washington (23.8%), Ohio (23.7%), South Dakota (23.6%), Georgia (23.5%), Illinois (23.1%), Mississippi (23%), and Tennessee (21.8%).

Below are both an alphabetical list of the states and their average percentage of parenting time to fathers, and the list organized by average amount of parenting time, from most to least.

“Custody schedules are detailed and complex, which makes them hard to compare,” explained Ben Coltrin, Custody X Change co-founder and president. “However, it’s easy to see the state-by-state differences once you have a percentage for every state. We conducted this study to be able to easily highlight these differences.”

The CustodyXChange provides tools to help divorced, separated or single parents create and track professional-quality parenting plans.

The research was based on judicial standards along with a survey of legal professionals about the schedules they most often see. The study is based on cases in which both parents wanted custody, and in which there were no complicating factors such as a long distance between the parents, or a parent having a criminal conviction.

Some points of interest include that all of the New England states except for Rhode Island give parents equal parenting time, and that fathers in South Dakota (23.6%) would fare much better had they moved just north to North Dakota (50%).

Says Coltrin, “Our study shows 40 percent of states aim to give children equal time with each parent. We’re hoping this study will affect the dialog that’s taking place as states consider changing their custody laws. States may increase time for dads, as they compare themselves to their neighbor-states.”

It’s important to bear in mind that these figures are from 2018. It’s possible – even probable – that fathers who were divorced in years prior may have received less parenting time than the current average in their state. It’s also possible that this study could support a request for additional parenting time. Ask your attorney if you feel this might apply to you.

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List of States and the Amount of Custody Parenting Time They Award to Fathers Organized by Name

Alabama – 33.7%
Alaska – 50%
Arizona – 50%
Arkansas – 28.1%
California – 32.8%
Colorado – 50%
Connecticut – 50%
Delaware – 50%
Florida – 50%
Georgia – 23.5%
Hawaii – 31%
Idaho – 24.1%
Illinois – 23.1%
Indiana – 28.8%
Iowa – 28.3%
Kansas – 26.4%
Kentucky – 50%
Louisiana – 25.4%
Maine – 50%
Maryland – 26.1%
Massachusetts – 50%
Michigan – 27.1%
Minnesota – 50%
Mississippi – 23%
Missouri – 50%
Montana – 26%
Nebraska – 32.9%
Nevada – 50%
New Hampshire – 50%
New Jersey – 50%
New Mexico – 50%
New York – 30.4%
North Carolina – 27.9%
North Dakota – 50%
Ohio – 23.7%
Oklahoma – 26.4%
Oregon – 28.7%
Pennsylvania – 28.2%
Rhode Island – 24%
South Carolina – 27.8%
South Dakota – 23.6%
Tennessee – 21.8%
Texas – 33%
Utah – 26.2%
Vermont – 50%
Virginia – 50%
Washington – 23.8%
West Virginia – 50%
Wisconsin – 50%
Wyoming – 28.6%

List of States and the Amount of Custody Parenting Time They Award to Fathers Organized by Percentage of Parenting Time – Most to Least

Alaska – 50%
Arizona – 50%
Colorado – 50%
Connecticut – 50%
Delaware – 50%
Florida – 50%
Kentucky – 50%
Maine – 50%
Massachusetts – 50%
Minnesota – 50%
Missouri – 50%
Nevada – 50%
New Hampshire – 50%
New Jersey – 50%
New Mexico – 50%
North Dakota – 50%
Vermont – 50%
Virginia – 50%
West Virginia – 50%
Wisconsin – 50%
Alabama – 33.7%
Texas – 33%
Nebraska – 32.9%
California – 32.8%
Hawaii – 31%
New York – 30.4%
Indiana – 28.8%
Oregon – 28.7%
Wyoming – 28.6%
Iowa – 28.3%
Pennsylvania – 28.2%
Arkansas – 28.1%
North Carolina – 27.9%
South Carolina – 27.8%
Michigan – 27.1%
Kansas – 26.4%
Oklahoma – 26.4%
Utah – 26.2%
Maryland – 26.1%
Montana – 26%
Louisiana – 25.4%
Idaho – 24.1%
Rhode Island – 24%
Washington – 23.8%
Ohio – 23.7%
South Dakota – 23.6%
Georgia – 23.5%
Illinois – 23.1%
Mississippi – 23%
Tennessee – 21.8%