North Dakota Divorce Custody
ND divorce custody guidelines specify that the best interests of the child should not be compromised at any cost as a result of divorce custody. Following guidelines are kept in mind while awarding child custody:
- The actual wishes and interests of the child are determined in ND divorce custody cases. The parent who bonds the most with the child is generally awarded the custody of the child. Courts try to analyze to which parent the child turns to during troubled times and for emotional support.
- The priorities of the parent in terms of providing care, love, affection, spending time with the child etc are also assessed during child custody battles in North Dakota.
- Child custody is awarded to the parent who is mentally fit and physically capable of raising the child. Moral fitness of the parent is determined to the extent that there is no negative impact on the child as a result of any romantic involvement, in terms of child neglect or child abuse.
- The parent who can offer a stable family unit and a community to which the child is used to has higher chances of getting the custody of the child. Courts try to ensure safety and welfare of the child and hence, intend to offer stability in the life of the child.
- According to ND divorce custody guidelines, if the child is of sufficient age and the judges find that he/she is mature enough and hence capable of making a wise decision, then the judge is likely to ask parental preference of the child. Judges are keen to determine if the child is under any pressure or influenced by any parent and thus, expressing his/her feelings. Such a practice of asking the child is generally avoided as courts do not wish to subject the child with guilt pangs.
- Child custody guidelines in North Dakota specify that police records of the family must be verified to see cases of child abuse, child neglect or physical violence or brutality in the past. If a parent has been the prime offender, then in such cases that parent is not likely to get the custody of the child and may be just awarded supervised visitation rights. In such cases, a third party is asked to supervise the visits made by the non-custodial parent. If the child is found to be in danger from such a parent, then even the visitation rights may be forfeited and the parent is asked to only extend child support.
- ND courts are very stringent against parents who try to force the child away from their divorced partner and thus, indulge in “parental alienation syndrome”. Even if a particular parent ahs been the “primary caretaker of the child”, yet physical custody may not be given to him/her if that parent does not encourage the child to bond with the other parent.
- ND divorce custody battles are usually settled through joint custody verdicts unless such a ruling is not in the best interests of the child. Sole custody is mostly awarded in physical custody for practical purposes and the non-custodial parent is allowed visitation rights. Generally joint legal custody is awarded to both the parents where they can jointly make decisions regarding the child’s education, religion, medical conditions etc.