When two people in North Dakota have a child together but are unable to agree on parenting time or custody terms, they may request that the state’s family court system come up with an arrangement on their behalf. When making decisions about child custody, courts and judges refer to the same set of factors and standards.
The North Dakota Legislative Branch outlines what factors help determine the outcome of a custody case. Some of these factors are as follows.
The existing ties between the parents and the child
How much love and affection each parent has shown the child, to date, may come into play in custody cases. If one of the parents has not yet had the opportunity to express or show love or affection for the child, the court may consider his or her presumed ability to provide the child with the love and affection he or she needs.
The stability and appropriateness of each home environment
North Dakota also takes into account each parent’s ability to provide a stable, healthy home life for the child. Courts and judges may also consider whether the child has siblings or half-siblings living in either home and the strength of these relationships when making decisions about parenting time.
Some of the other factors that undergo consideration in North Dakota custody cases include the child’s developmental needs and the moral fitness of the parent with regard to raising a child. If the child is old enough and mature enough, his or her own wishes may also come into play.