Family Law

Our family law attorneys offer family legal services throughout the entire state of North Dakota. We dedicate a majority of our practice to a variety of personal family legal services including divorce, property division & spousal support, adoptions (identified, special-needs, international, relative, and step-parent), prenuptial agreements, or post-nuptial agreements to control items left to chance in divorce, contempt of court & intentionally disobeying court orders, producing solutions to overlooked or forgotten items through mediation, assisting those choosing to change their names for a variety of reasons, victims of domestic violence to seek protective or restraining orders, negotiating and drafting time-sharing and parenting plans (visitation), negotiating child custody arrangements and handling termination of parental rights matters. We also specialize in helping people with alimony, child support, and CHIPS or child protection matters & also assist with establishing or maintaining guardianships and conservatorships.

Family issues have the potential for high emotion and can alter an entire family. It is important that you have a family lawyer on your side to determine the best possible solution. The goal of our attorneys is to diligently and competently advocate the interests of their clients. If a resolution is met of which both parties agree, it increases the chance that a client and the parties involved are generally happy with the outcome ultimately avoiding future litigation. We also understand that in many situations, this is not possible. Having our experience and knowledge in the courtroom when situations like this arise is crucial when seeking the best possible outcome.


Divorce can include, and usually does, many aspects of family law. The two main aspects are property division and spousal support. Property division and spousal support vary among cases in regard to the percentages, amounts, and duration granted for each. In North Dakota, the Courts look to the Ruff-Fischer Guidelines to help determine these issues.

Child Custody

Child custody is the custodial award or determination involving a minor child. This involves who has the right to make decisions about the child, or legal custody, including decisions about education, religion, medical issues, and discipline, as well as where the child will live, or physical custody.

Child Support

One issue tied to child custody (now termed residential responsibility) is child support. Child support obligations can and do vary based on a number of different factors including, but not limited to, the amount of time a party has with the child, income, payment of insurance, and whether a party has other children. SW&L Attorneys has created a calculator to help give you a sense of what your child support may be in North Dakota. The calculator can be found here. 


In North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana, many people seek to adopt each and every year. It is important for all parties involved to have a complete understanding of adoption options. For those families seeking to expand their family through adoption, the legal process can sometimes be confusing. Our lawyers offer assistance and guidance to you throughout the entire North Dakota adoption process, including parental alienation situations, same-sex couples adoptions, and step-parent adoptions. It is very important that you understand what is best suited for you and your family.

Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

How do you know if you need a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in North Dakota? We will likely tell you it depends on your situation. Prenuptial Agreements (termed “Premarital Agreements” under North Dakota law), or “Prenups” and Postnuptial Agreements can be a valid and important part of marriage, before and after. For many people, the confirmation and security of knowing that personal finances, inheritance, spousal support, and liabilities are in order if a marriage fails due to irreconcilable differences are highly attractive – especially given the current divorce rate.

Contempt Of Court

Contempt of court is the willful disobedience or disregard of a court order. Our family law firm deals with contempt of court issues in a wide array of situations. Prime examples of civil contempt include failure to child support, failure to pay certain bills or debts designated to a particular party, failure to pay a certain expense for a child, such as daycare or out-of-pocket medical expenses, failure to allow parenting time, and failure to provide assets awarded to the other spouse in a divorce.


A mediator doesn’t advise or advocate for either party involved, but rather spearheads a conversation that satisfies all parties’ concerns and comes to a workable solution. Having a skilled mediation attorney can produce solutions that may have otherwise been forgotten or simply overlooked. Sometimes a family matter just needs the help of a mediator to get items accomplished rather than going through the court system to find the same end result.

Name Change

There are many reasons why people choose to change their names each year in North Dakota. The most frequent occurrence of name change continues to be divorce. For both husband and wife, the changing of a name often brings a sense of closure to divorce proceedings. There are also many other reasons that people elect to change a name. These include: to honor a relationship, to bring one’s name into congruence with one’s identity, to signify the beginning of a new phase of life, or to establish a connection to a chosen religion or heritage.

Protection Orders

Domestic violence protection orders are similar to a disorderly conduct restraining order, but take place with a family member. Protection orders are also further reaching than a protection order, as they can also control parenting time issues.

Parenting Time (Visitation)

“Parenting time,” also commonly referred to as “visitation,” refers to the time the non-custodial parent spends with a child, regardless of the labels used in the custody arrangement. Parenting time is often set according to a schedule as a result of a court order. We can assist with parenting time in North Dakota.

Contact SW&L Attorneys Today

We know that many of our clients come to us during particularly emotional periods of their lives. We realize that by being responsive to their needs, we can be a source of comfort during an otherwise difficult time. We also understand when to negotiate on your behalf to protect your best interests as well as how to litigate your matter in the North Dakota family court system if needed. There are high emotions that are typically involved in family cases, and we will handle your case with understanding and compassion while keeping you informed every step of the way. If you have a question about a family situation anywhere in North Dakota, call our family attorneys today at 701-297-2890.

Greg Liebl
Greg Liebl
Benjamin Freedman
Priscila Ulloa
Priscila Ulloa