PLM Family Law

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What goes into child custody?

Parting ways with a spouse may prove difficult emotionally. If you have children together, the process becomes more complicated since the court will not grant a divorce without ensuring you have considered the children’s needs fully.

North Dakota family court wants your children’s needs to come first in a divorce. Judges prefer parents to compromise on all divorce matters, especially when deciding how to split custody and care of their children. Absent an agreement, the court will order it.

What custody decisions do you need to make?

Custody is twofold in any family law matter. First, there is the matter of which parent should have the right to make legal decisions on behalf of the kids. This includes issues such as:

  • Education or where they go to school
  • Religion
  • Medical care, emergency and continuing

The court believes unless a situation requires otherwise, both parents should maintain these legal rights on behalf of their children. This does not necessarily mean that both parents must agree before acting for their children. It means that the parent who has physical custody at the time may act if a need arises.

What does physical custody mean?

Physical custody is a parenting plan that sets out with whom the children will reside at any given time. While legal custody may divide evenly between the parents, physical custody does not need to. One parent may have a majority of parenting time due to work or scheduling purposes.

The court prefers that parents work out their differences regarding custody and parenting time. This way, the control of your co-parenting relationship will remain in your hands.