When parties are unable to reach agreement on residential responsibility (physical custody) or parenting time (visitation) issues, a parenting investigator may be appointed. Sometimes the court will request a parenting investigation, but most often the parties will ask that a parenting investigation be conducted. A parenting investigation is a thorough analysis of the North Dakota best interest of the child factors based on first-hand observations.
Most often, a parenting investigator is a family law attorney in North Dakota that has received additional training from the North Dakota Supreme Court, specific to parenting investigations. It’s not a requirement that the parenting investigator be an attorney, though.
When appointed, the parenting investigator will interview the parties, references, and sometimes the children, too (depending on their ages and maturity levels) as part of their investigation and ultimate report.
A parenting investigation is often a useful tool for the judges involved in cases.