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Fargo Family Law Blog

What are marital assets?

When most people enter a marriage, they aren't thinking much about what's theirs and what is their spouse's. For a while, nobody keeps track.

Then trouble comes. Someone asks for a divorce. Now, both spouses are struggling to understand their financial situation and need to determine exactly what "counts" as marital assets (and is, therefore, subject to division).

Is the other parent seeking sole legal custody?

From the start of your divorce, you may have known that your spouse was not going to make the ordeal easy for you. In fact, you anticipated a child custody battle because of the way your relationship ended. However, you did not know just how far the other parent would go to keep you from the children.

Because you and the other parent could not come to an agreement regarding child custody together, the court had to play a role. You may have been fine with the idea of joint custody because you understand the importance of your children having relationships with both parents. What you did not expect, though, was for your spouse to petition for not only sole physical custody but also sole legal custody.

Why is it usually the woman who files for divorce?

When a couple's marriage goes south, more often than not it's the woman that ends up in a divorce attorney's office first. That's not exactly a new thing, but research is just now starting to understand why.

Way back in the 1800s, research indicated that women initiated divorce about 60% of the time. Despite all of the societal changes that have evolved since then, that figure has largely remained the same -- or grown. In 2015, a study of heterosexual marriages found that women started divorce proceedings 69% of the time.

Are you thinking about adoption? Here's what to do first

Are you struggling with infertility? If it doesn't seem likely that you're ever going to have biological children, you may have already started to consider alternatives like adoption.

It's okay to take this process slowly. In fact, it's probably best if you start by doing the following:

Missing small details can sabotage your parenting plan

If you and your spouse are heading toward divorce, you are likely thinking of your goals and expectations for custody of the children. After all, the welfare of the children during this difficult and emotional time may be foremost in your mind. You may be thinking that the best you can do for your kids is to get the divorce over with as quickly as possible and work out the details of a parenting plan as situations arise.

Unfortunately, many child advocates warn that this may not be the ideal way to handle the questions of co-parenting. In fact, the better idea is often to include as many details as you can and to prepare for every possible contingency before you end negotiations.

How do you establish paternity in North Dakota?

Your baby's about to be born, and you're concerned about the fact that you and the mother aren't married. You know that you need to establish your legal paternity to protect your rights -- and your child.

There are a few different ways that you can go about it:

How to make a child custody exchange safely

You may share custody of your children with your ex, but that doesn't mean that you and your ex are on good terms. Maybe your ex is angry that you've moved on and have a new romantic interest. Maybe they simply don't like the current custody and visitation schedule and blame you for the limitations. Maybe they're just still angry over whatever brought the relationship to an end.

Those situations can make every custody exchange with your child's other parent both incredibly tense and potentially volatile. You naturally want to keep exchanges as peaceful as possible, but you simply aren't sure how. Here are some suggestions:

Is sole custody best for your child?

If you and your child's other parent have decided to split, you likely have many questions and concerns about the future. Most pressing may be the worries about how the split will affect your child. Your desire may be to provide the most stable and stress-free environment possible following the breakup, but does this mean seeking sole custody of the child?

Custody, or parenting time, typically refers to the time when the child is physically with you. Often, parents can work out a fair arrangement on their own, but sometimes they ask the court to intervene. While you may agree that your ex should have a generous amount of access to the child, you may wonder if it is best for the child if you petition for primary physical custody.

Keeping control of your finances before and during divorce is key

Divorce is going to bring significant financial changes to your life. You know that you will have to make certain spending and lifestyle adjustments, and there are certain things you can do now to prepare for what is ahead. One of these things is to go ahead and take control of your finances.

By taking control now, you will be able to avoid some of the stress and complications that come with a divorce. You can bounce back and recover some of your lost financial standing, but it is in your interests to start thinking through how to do that now. This is especially important for you if you did not have to a direct hands-on role with your finances during your marriage.

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.

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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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