It might sound cliche at this point, but our children are the most precious possessions we own. That is why, during divorce proceedings that involve parents, the issue of children becomes so incredibly complex. Indeed, our children are our very hearts and souls, how can they be divided when it comes to a breakup?
The truth is, children cannot be divided and psychologists — in addition to the courts — tend to recognize how important it is for children to spend time with both parents growing up. In fact, the modern family court system is so focused on ensuring that both parents are present in the lives of their children that there is a tend to award 50/50 custody to parents, where the children spend half their time living with one parent and half their time living with the other. Gone are the days when the mother would receive automatic full custody of the children.
All that said, certain issues and circumstances may arise in which the court decides to award full custody to one parent and only visitation rights to the other. These situations might arise if the parents live far away from one another, or if one parent was convicted of a violent crime — especially crimes related to domestic or sexual abuse. However, one or the other parent risks losing custody if he or she denies visitation rights to the other parent, or does not follow the court approved parenting plan.
At Melinda Weerts Law, PLLC, we help North Dakota families navigate issues of child custody and we always try to resolve any dispute as diplomatically and peacefully as possible. Ultimately, we know that the two parents (including our client) are not the only ones in the middle of this dispute — the children are in the middle of it, too. As such, we take great measures to support the peaceful resolution of conflicts in honor of our clients’ peace of mind and the well-being of their children.