North DakotaChild Visitation Laws
North Dakota Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
What is child visitation?In the context of a child custody case, visitation is defined as the rights for a non-custodial parent to see their child, or as temporary custody that's been granted for a period of time to an otherwise non-custodial parent or relative.
In general, courts in North Dakota assume that it is beneficial for both biological parents of a child to have shared custody or visitation, unless it is shown to be against the child's best interests. A biological parent who is denied custody may be awarded visitation rights to provide for a relationship between the parent and child.
Visitation by grandparents, family members, or other third-parties is less clear cut in North Dakota, and nationwide. While there are state guidelines regarding third-party visitation in certain situations, these laws are frequently challenged.
Above all else, courts in North Dakota strive to make custody and visitation decisions that are "in the best interests of the child". The court handling each individual visitation case has significant flexibility in determining what arrangement is in the child's best interests. You can read about North Dakota's visitation guildelines on this page.
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The court will decide a request for visitation based on whether granting a parent visitation would be in the "best interests of the child."
What is considered in a child's "best interests" are outlined under the custody and visitation statute which indicate the following factors are relevant to this type of decision:"
- The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parents and child and the ability of each parent to provide the child with nurture, love, affection, and guidance.
- The ability of each parent to assure that the child receives adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and a safe environment.
- The child's developmental needs and the ability of each parent to meet those needs, both in the present and in the future.
- The sufficiency and stability of each parent's home environment.
- The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
- The moral fitness of the parents, as that fitness impacts the child.
- The mental and physical health of the parents, as that health impacts the child.
A court may grant visitation rights to a grandparent, where the grandparent proves that a substantial relationship exists between the grandparent and grandchild.
In the state of North Dakota, there are a number of laws regarding child visitation regarding visitation for third-parties other than the biological parents of the child. While state laws regarding third-party visitation have been frequently been challenged in courts, they are a good indication of North Dakota's positions regarding non-parental visitation rights.
Visitation Rights Of Grandparents In North Dakota:
North Dakota has special statutes regarding the child visitiation rights of grandparents under different circumstances. Under state law, the grandparents of children may obtain visitation while the parents are alive, regardless of the parent's marital status.
Regardless of state presumptions regarding grandparent's visitation rights under specific circumstances, a North Dakota court may allow or prevent visitation rights in any situation based on the best interests of the child.
Visitation Rights Of Other Parties In North Dakota:
Are step-parents granted visitation rights in the state of North Dakota?
Generally it is an uphill battle for step-parents seeking visitation rights for a step-child, especially if the biological parents of the child are alive and are opposed to the visitation.
Under North Dakota law, legal provisions do exist to grant child visitation rights to step-parents under certain circumstances, so visitation can be readily applied for. In all cases, third-party visitation rights are more likely to be granted by the court if they are deemed to be in the best interests of the child.
Can other interested parties or relatives be granted visitation rights to a child in North Dakota?
Under state of North Dakota law, it is not generally possible for any other interested party other than those specified to be granted child visitation rights. In rare cases this may be overruled by the court.
Can parents be granted visitation rights after termination of parental rights or adoption in North Dakota?
In the state of North Dakota it may not be possible to be granted visitation rights after losing parental rights or giving up a child for adoption. This is the case with both biological parents and previous guardians.