North Dakota Child Custody Factors

In North Dakota, the court main objective when making a custody decision is to do what is best for the children by considering the following factors:

1. The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parents and child.

2. The capacity and disposition of the parents to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education of the child.

3. The disposition of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in lieu of medical care, and other material needs.

4. The length of time the child has lived in a stable satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

5. The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home.

6. The moral fitness of the parents.

7. The mental and physical health of the parents.

8. The home, school, and community record of the child.

9. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.

10. Evidence of domestic violence.

11. The interaction and interrelationship, or the potential for interaction and interrelationship, of the child with any person who resides in

12. The making of false allegations not made in good faith, by one parent against the other, of harm to a child.

13. Any other factors considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute. (North Dakota Century Code - Volume 3A - Chapters: 14-05-22, 14-09-06, 14-09-06.1 and .2)

In North Dakota, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they canít, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about North Dakota child custody in the North Dakota state statutes located at: