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Family Law Archives

Establishing paternity in North Dakota

Married and unmarried couples may operate in much the same ways. However, certain legal procedures are different for married couples than for unmarried couples -for example, establishing paternity. In a marriage, the husband is legally presumed to be the father of any children born during the marriage. For unmarried couples, that legal presumption does not exist, therefore paternity will need to be established according to state law.

The importance of positive co-parenting after divorce

Much has been said about co-parenting lately, particularly in light of such high-profile celebrity splits as those involving Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner and Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, who've all publicly agreed to co-parent in spite of their divorces. Psychologists and other experts agree that children generally make it through divorce easier and are better adjusted in the end if they can maintain a relationship with both parents. The question, of course, becomes how to do that with your child's other parent following a divorce, particularly if it was bitter and hotly contested.

Preparing for co-parenting during divorce negotiations

If you and your spouse have opted to go your separate ways, you are likely struggling with a host of challenging emotions. You may be grieving deeply, incredibly angry, overwhelmingly guilty or navigating numerous other emotions depending on your unique circumstances. It is normal and healthy to have strong emotions in the wake of a decision to divorce. However, it is vitally important that you process these emotions primarily "outside" of your divorce negotiations process, especially if you and your spouse will be co-parenting your minor children moving forward.


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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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