A Parenting Plan Template for Parents in High Conflict

Philip M. Stahl Ph.D, ABPP (Forensic) has an excellent book called Parenting After Divorce: A Guide to Resolving Conflicts and Meeting Your Children's  Needs. His book includes a section about parenting plans for parents with high conflict situations.

As he talks about what is needed in the plan, he says: "You might find that more detail is needed than you think so that there is less conflict in the future. If you create a careful and well-thought-out parenting plan, you can save considerable aggravation later." He than recommends the following parenting plan template for parents in high conflict.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

Information to include
A clear and well defined schedule

Along with a schedule that shows when each parent has the children, Stahl recommends that parents specify how exchanges will be made for visits, a procedure for a one-time change to the schedule, who has the ultimate power to decide when the parents disagree, etc.

Information about making decisions for the children

The parenting plan should state if the parent who has physical custody has the right to make daily decisions and how the parents will make big decisions together.

Information about financial responsibilities

The parents need to decide how they will pay for things that aren't covered by child support.

A process for how the parents will manage disputes

Parents can use mediation, arbitration, or other methods to resolve disputes out of court.

Provisions

Parents in high conflict should be specific about how they will handle issues concerning:

  • Who will provide care when the parent isn't available during custody time (the right of first refusal gives the other parent priority).
  • How the parents will handle transportation during exchanges.
  • How the parents will review and make changes to the plan.
  • How the parents will handle additional responsibilities of parenting (like if the child gets sick, going to school meetings, etc.).
  • How the parents will manage the child's religious education.
  • How the parents will share information with each other.
In summary

If you are in a high conflict custody situation, Stahl's book can be a good reference. Custody X Change can also help you create a good, detailed parenting plan that can make the situation better.

Custody X Change lets parents add all of these parts to their plan. In particular, parents with high conflict can use the app to make the process more objective — they can share an account and explore different options for parenting time, use the timeshare calculator to know exactly what's going on, easily make sample and example plans, make changes as needed, etc.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make My Plan
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Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

No thanks, I don't need a parenting plan