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Fargo Family Law Blog

Can the noncustodial parent challenge a child support increase?

Meeting the financial needs of children after divorce is challenging for both parents. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to modify the terms of a child support agreement to make certain children have everything they need to thrive.

In North Dakota and other states, either parent may petition a court to increase the amount of financial support a child receives. Typically, the parent making the request must submit the proper form or make the request in writing.

The real reasons people get divorced

When people think about divorce, they often assume that it stems from someone being unfaithful. It's a natural assumption, often because of how common this is in media: Movies, songs, TV shows, novels, etc.

It does happen in real life, of course, but it's hardly the main reason for divorce. The actual reasons look like this:

  • Getting married because of outside pressure or expectations from others.
  • Feeling like the marriage took away your individual identity.
  • Not working toward the same goals as your spouse.
  • Losing the romance and intimacy that existed before the marriage.
  • Having expectations for the marriage that the marriage fails to meet.
  • Running into financial troubles, such as excessive debt.
  • Having vastly different interests and focusing on different priorities.
  • Not knowing how to work through conflicts and disagreements.

Was I deserted and is it sufficient cause for divorce?

For North Dakota couples who are experiencing marital issues and a dispute-laden situation, it is important to understand the options when considering a divorce. In the state, people can file for both a fault and a no-fault divorce. When considering a fault-based divorce, there are certain actions and circumstances to justify it. One is desertion. Knowing when and if desertion has taken place is a foundational part of filing for divorce because of it.

If one party voluntarily separates from the other, there are certain aspects that will categorize it as desertion. A persistent denial of sex when there is no health issue making it necessary, or if either spouse refuses to live in the same domicile when there is no just cause to do so, will be considered desertion. If one person leaves the dwelling or is absent because of fraud or a scheme from the other party and, while the absence is ongoing, the person who has committed fraud leaves intending to desert, that person is committing desertion.

What factors are considered with equitable property division?

In a North Dakota divorce, it is common for there to be issues in dispute. Often, this centers around spousal support and child support. One factor that frequently arises at the end of a marriage, however, is property division. This can include the marital home, motor vehicles, a business, items of sentimental value, collectibles, retirement accounts, bank accounts, and more. With these concerns, having legal assistance might be important.

People should understand the factors that are considered with equitable distribution of property. The following will be analyzed as part of the proceeding: how old the spouses are; what their earning ability is based on education and experience; how long the marriage lasted and how the spouses behaved while they were married; their station in life; what the situation is and the needs of each of the spouses; what their health and physical situation is at the time of the divorce; and the financial circumstances with the property at the time of the divorce.

Christmas is often followed by a spike in divorce filings

The end of the year can be a particularly trying time for already strained relationships. There are presents to buy, parties to attend and family to see. Often, the stress and obligations of the holiday season can stretch a marriage well past the breaking point. This may be one reason why there is a spike in divorce filings after the first of the year. 

If you are thinking about moving forward with divorce, it is probably not simply because it's Christmas. It is likely there are many issues that led up to this point, and the holidays simply brought many of those problems to light. Regardless of when you plan to file or the things that brought you to this point, now is the time to start taking steps to protect your interests and start preparing for the divorce process.

What are the paying parent's duties in a child support review?

After a North Dakota divorce, people might make the mistake of thinking that the case is settled and they need to do nothing more than adhere to the terms of the agreement or court decision.

However, there are certain aspects of a family law case that will be ongoing. For example, there will be periodic reviews of a child support order. A paying parent, the obligor, is required to do certain things as part of this review.

Can failure to pay child support impact my credit score?

When a child support order is issued in North Dakota, the supporting parent is expected to make the payments on time and in full. In some instances, however, these noncustodial parents fall behind on payments. For some, there are extenuating circumstances that prevent them from keeping up with their child support payments. In others, there is an ongoing child support dispute, and they make the mistake of not paying what is owed as part of the acrimony.

Regardless of why it is taking place, the failure to pay child support can cause serious problems for both the noncustodial parent and the custodial parent. Understanding what steps the state will take to get those payments is critical considering that it can impose penalties on noncompliant parents. One strategy that is frequently used is to report the delinquent payments to credit reporting agencies. To avoid this problematic step or to deal with issues that led up to it, having legal help can be crucial.

Parallel parenting could be the answer to your custody issues

You love your children, and so does your future former spouse. You want to make the transition as easy as possible for your children as you go through your divorce and start new lives. However, you have one large issue -- you have no desire and no inclination to spend any more time with your ex-spouse than you absolutely have to.

Your relationship has reached the point where being in the same room together only brings out the worst in each of you. Even so, you want your children to have as much time with each parent as possible. What can you do?

Who can legally petition for adoption in North Dakota?

The state of North Dakota is very adoption friendly, for the most part. However, to ensure that an adoption goes as smoothly as possible, there are a few eligibility rules to know about.

The first group of people who may petition a court for adoption are a husband and wife, together. Even if one or both spouses are minors, the court will allow the petition to be filed as long as they are legally married. The second group are unmarried adults. In other words, the state of North Dakota will recognize a single parent home as a viable option for a child who needs a permanent home. Third, an unmarried father or mother of a person to be adopted. For example, where two parties live together but are not married, one may file to adopt a child without the consent of the other.

Some tips to survive divorce

The end of a marriage can feel almost apocalyptic. Life becomes fractured. It seems as if nothing has a place, and you are not even sure which way to turn or where to begin. When children are involved, things can be especially stressful. Shielding them from pain while trying to hold yourself together becomes almost to much to bare at times. However, there is good news. There are ways to survive the turmoil, and come out on the other side healthy and ready to start rebuilding. Here are some helpful tips.

First, know that you do not have to do it alone. Lean on family members, friends, and even your divorce attorney. An attorney may easily become one of your best friends throughout the process. It feels good to know that someone is unequivocally on your side and can offer expert guidance when you have no idea what to do. Sometimes, having someone to take you by the hand and lead you through step-by-step is the best thing that can ever happen. As far as friends and family, let them help! There is no shame in having someone clean your house or cook a meal when life just gets to be too much.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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