Our attorneys handle residential responsibility (“custody”) cases in Fargo & throughout North Dakota. There are very few situations more personal and sensitive than child custody. A dispute over custody can impact a life forever and ultimately affects a relationship with one’s child. Our lawyers understand the difficulty that ensues for everyone involved during a case and their goal is to make the process as seamless as possible for every individual they work with throughout North Dakota.
What Is Legal Custody?
Simply put, the definition of legal custody, now termed “decision-making responsibility” in North Dakota, is the ability to make decisions for a child and have access to his or her records. This being said, parents can define it however they want. One needs to be careful; however, as the North Dakota Supreme Court has stated that without a definition of the term, giving parents “joint legal custody” is meaningless.
What Is Physical Custody?
Physical custody, now termed “residential responsibility” in North Dakota, relates to where the child resides during any particular week, month, or year. Typically, parents agree to a schedule that is conducive to the child’s best interests. These schedules vary on a case-by-case basis. To find out what sorts of schedules work and which schedules are problematic, give our firm a call.
Child Custody In North Dakota
For one to establish custody of a child in North Dakota, an action must be started. If the parties cannot agree on custody, a judge will make a decision for them by taking into consideration the best interests of the child. In North Dakota, there is a statute that addresses which factors will be considered by a Judge.
There are several different “types” of custody or residential responsibility in North Dakota. Primary residential responsibility is where one parent has the child the majority of the time and the other parent has parenting time or “visitation.” Equal residential responsibility is where each parent has the child exactly the same amount of time. Split residential responsibility is where there are two or more children and each parent is the primary residential parent of at least one of the children.
As mentioned above, a North Dakota court determines child custody by finding what is in the best interest of the child. The court may consider any and all factors relevant to a custody dispute. This could include things, such as love, affection, income, criminal history, home environment, overall emotional ties, the ability of each party involved to provide the child with food, clothes, proper medical care.
Because of the wide range of factors and the general nature of child custody “battles,” it requires an attorney that will take the time to fight for your rights, deal with hurdles that occur, and ensure that you are given the opportunity to have a relationship with your child now and in the future.
Contact SW&L Attorneys Today
Our lawyers deliver consistent preparation, planning, and knowledge with all of their child custody cases. Knowledgeable in all North Dakota custody statutes, we are dedicated in our efforts to provide every client with experience, research, and other resources important in gaining the outcome you as a parent seek. Call SW&L at 701-297-2890 to discuss your situation.