PLM Family Law

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What are your child’s best interests?

When going through the divorce process, you only want what is best for your child. However, it is ultimately up to the court to decide what sort of situations would benefit your child the most.

They will typically review what is in the child’s best interests when making their decision. But what does this mean?

What is “best interest”?

North Dakota’s State Legislature discusses what the state views as factors determining what is in a child’s best interests. These factors typically focus on the importance of a provision for your child’s basic needs, like clothing, shelter, food and love.

In short, the best interests of the child include anything that will either help or hinder their ability to thrive and live in the best possible way.

What are deciding factors?

As such, deciding factors can include things like the environmental risks of each home, or the developmental needs of a child and a parent’s ability to meet them. They can include the mental and physical health of either parent or the emotional ties between family members. It can even include the preference of any children old enough to make such distinctions.

Generally speaking, the court will step in and make modifications as it sees fit if they believe any part of an existing custody or visitation agreement violates the child’s best interests.

It is possible to modify an order due to changes that might make it so past decisions no longer serve the child’s best interest. However, keep in mind that it requires a court petition to do so.