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Child Support Archives

Dad arrested after 20 years, owing $560,000 in child support

North Dakota's proximity to Canada may tempt those owing child support in the state to cross the border in the hopes of avoiding payment. The recent arrest of a United States citizen who had lived in Calgary for 20 years and failed to pay $560,000 in child support may serve as an important object lesson for anyone considering moving to Canada to escape making these payments.

Determining child support in a North Dakota divorce

One of the most difficult questions in a divorce in North Dakota is the determination of child support. The legislature has established general rules for determining child support, and the Department of Human Services has published detailed guidelines that specify the type of information that must be submitted by the divorcing parents. New guidelines became effective on January 1, 2018. These requirements are too numerous and too detailed for a blog post, but an overview may be helpful to those wondering about divorce and child support.

What happens if I don't pay child support?

Failure to pay child support in North Dakota will result in being held in contempt of court. Consequences for this include jail time, fines, license suspension and a court order to engage in work activities. Those who willingly fail to pay child support in North Dakota may be prosecuted for criminal nonpayment and receive maximum penalties of five years' imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

Resources for child support enforcement and assistance

Raising a child is an expensive proposition. The cost of food, healthcare, daycare/education and other daily expenses is legally viewed as a shared responsibility between both parents. When a court orders a non-custodial parent to pay child support and they attempt to evade this responsibility, it can not only be a stressful ordeal for the custodial parent but it can also have negative consequences for the children who no longer have the support they need.


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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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