Welcome to Family Law Consulting, LLC

Back to Family Law
                Consulting LLC

The Ten Pillars Underlying a

Developmentally-informed Parenting Plan:

Targeting data essential to better serve the child's emerging needs

Access the Power Point program - patience
Click on the image to access the PowerPoint handout
via DropBox - please be patient

(c) Benjamin D. Garber, Ph.D.
31 March, 2018
St. Paul, Minnesota

Contact Family Law
                Consultants LLC
Who we are
About Dr. Garber
Keeping Kids Out Of The Middle
 Keeping families out of court
How do you take care of yourself?

Keeping Kids Out of the Middle

Developmental Psychology For Family Law

Holding Tight/Letting Go

These materials are provided for educational purposes only.
Please do not distribute or allow persons not enrolled in the seminar to access this page.

Resources and citations  in order of appearance
(use CNTRL + F to search this page for keywords)

Access the PowerPoint handout via DropBox
Read more here

The ten pillars are the data points necessary to begin to craft a
child-centered, systemically-informed parenting plan. They require impartial, objective assessment of:

1. Co-parenting Communication

2. Co-parenting Cooperation

3. Co-parenting Consistency of Parenting Practices

4. Parent-child Attachment Security

5. Parent-child Emotional Maturity

6. Parent-child Reciprocal Alignment

7. Transitional Stresses

8. Transitional Objects

9. Transitional Sibling Support

10. Transitional "Culture Shock"

Back to top

Summary concepts are presented in any effort to
focus the dec
ision-making process
on each child's unique needs and abilities
within his or her evolving family system.
These are hypotheses only, not rules:

1. Family law questions are about the child. Family law answers are about the system. The ultimate question must always be: "How can this system better hold the child?

2. As the differences between care environments increase, the child's stress at transition likely increases, suggesting that fewer transitions may suit the child's needs.

3. As consistency of parenting practices diminishes, the child's stress at transition likely increases, suggesting that fewer transitions may suit the child's needs.

4. As the frequency and severity of co-parental conflict increases, the child's stress at transition likely increases, suggesting that fewer transitions may suit the child's needs.

5. Children with special needs, especially anxiety and cognitive processing difficulties,
need a more rigid and predictable parenting plan.

6. Less emotionally mature children need more frequent contact with each parent, suggesting that more transitions and briefer periods in each parent's care may suit the child's needs.

7. Transitional objects and distance media can augment a child's ability to manage separation so that longer periods with each parent and fewer transitions are possible.

8. Parsimony first and foremost: Rule out benign and innocuous reasons for contact resistance first, before entertaining blame and nefarious motives.

9. Calm, clear and consistent: Your C3 attitude will trickle down to the parents which, in turn, will trickle down to the kids.

10. Err on the side of thorough: Cooperative co-parents can mutually modify a bullet-proof parenting plan. Conflicts co-parents cannot patch-up an ambiguous parenting plan.

Back to top

Citations in order of appearance

"The co-parenting communication guide." Arizona AFCC chapter.
access resources here
"The roadmap to the parenting plan worksheet" B.D. Garber, Ph.D.
Access resources here
Baumrind , D. H. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11, 56-95.

Baumrind, Diana (2013). Is a pejorative view of power assertion in the socialization process justified? Review of General Psychology, 17(4), 420-427.
Uji, Masayo; Sakamoto, Ayuko; Adachi, Keiichiro; Kitamura, Toshinori (2014). The impact of authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parenting styles on children’s later mental health in Japan: Focusing on parent and child gender.  Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(2), 293-302.

Garber, Benjamin D. (2014). The chameleon child: Children as actors in the high conflict divorce drama. Journal of Child Custody, 11, 1-16. Access resources here
Smart, C. (2002). From children’s shoes to children’s voices. Family Court Review, 40, 297-306.

AFCC guidelines for parenting coordination
Access resources here
Holding Tight/Letting Go. B.D. Garber, Ph.D. (2016)
Access resources here
Drozd, L., & Olesen, N. (2004). Is it abuse, alienation and/or estrangement?
A decision tree. Journal of Child Custody, 1(3),

Back to top

Garber, B.D. (2011). Parental alienation and the dynamics of the enmeshed dyad: Adultification, parentification and infantilization. Family Court Review, 49(2), 322-335.

Access resources here
Garber, B.D. (2004). Parental Alienation in Light of Attachment Theory: Consideration of the Broader Implications for Child Development, Clinical Practice, and Forensic Process. Journal of Child Custody.

Access resources here
Friedlander, S., & Walters, M. (2010). When a child rejects a parent: Tailoring the intervention to fit the problem. Family Court Review, 48, p. 100.

Johnston, J. R., Walters, M. G., & Olesen, N. W. (2005). Is it alienating parenting, role reversal, or child abuse? A study of children's rejection of a parent in child custody disputes.  Journal of Emotional Abuse, 5(4), p. 191.

Guiding principles: Safe havens and supervised visitation. U.S. Department of Justice
Access resources here
Elisabeth Bach-Van Horn, (2008). Virtual Visitation: Are Webcams Being Used as an Excuse to Allow Relocation?, 21 Journal of American Academy of Matrimonial Law, 171, 172.

Back to top

For courts and judicial officers
For lawyers, attorneys and pro se
For Guardians ad
                        forensic family evaluators
Read more here

Ten Forms for Forensic Family Evaluation

Roadmap to the Parenting Plan Workbook

The HealthyParent's ABCs

Caveat lector