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.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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.


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

  • Provide care when the parent isn't available during custody time (the right of first refusal gives the other parent priority)
  • Handle transportation during exchanges
  • Review and make changes to the plan
  • Handle additional responsibilities of parenting (child's illness, school meetings, etc.)
  • Manage the child's religious education
  • Share information with each other

The easiest way to make a parenting plan

A well thought out parenting plan is crucial for parents in high conflict. A detailed plan with airtight legal language could be the difference between cooperation and returning to court.

The Custody X Change app walks you through each step of creating a plan so you can account for all possible situations.

It's easy. Just use our guide to selecting parenting plan provisions and the list of provisions above to help you decide which terms best suit your circumstances.

The result will be a professional document that demonstrates your competence as a parent and has safeguards to prevent violations that could disrupt your child's life.

The easiest and most reliable way to make a parenting plan is with Custody X Change.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

Explore examples of common schedules



Long distance schedules

Third party schedules


Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

Changing your plan

Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

Product features:

Software overview

Printable calendars

Parenting plan templates

Journal what happens

Expense sharing

Parenting time tracking

Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

Succeed by negotiating

Prepare for mediation

Get ready for court


Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

No thanks, I don't need a parenting plan