Even with sky high divorce rates across the country, grandparents' rights are often overlooked and frequently are not taken into consideration within custody negotiations. The same lack of attention may be prevalent in a situation where one parent dies, and the remaining parent refuses contact between the child and his or her grandparents. While the state of North Dakota has laws in place to prevent grandparents from being alienated from grandchildren, the decision is not made on grandparents' wishes alone. There are other factors a court must take into consideration when determining whether grandparent visitation is appropriate.
The policy behind child support payments comes from the idea that both parents have a responsibility to care for their child. When both parents live with their children, the law presumes they are providing their children with food, clothing, shelter and their other needs, but if the parents don't live together because they have divorced, or were never married, the law requires the non-custodial parent to provide funds to care for each child.
Family law can be exceedingly complex in North Dakota. While most issues that come to the forefront center on divorce, child support, spousal support and other basic considerations, paternity can also be a factor. In some instances, when a couple has a child, there could be a question as to whom the biological father is. Understanding the presumption of paternity is a key part of a case as the biological father and his identity can be critical to determining visitation rights and child support. The mother, the presumed father and a potential father should be aware of this law.
In a divorce case in North Dakota, there are a litany of issues that will be of concern and in dispute. For those who have significant retirement assets, the high asset divorce process can be complex and worrisome for both the person who has the account and the other party. Both sides will want a fair share. Part of dealing with this is to keep track of court rulings regarding how the law deals with them. A recent decision makes it imperative to re-assess how retirement assets are handled.
Parents are not the only adults that play an important role in a child's life-their teachers, aunts and uncles and grandparents shape a child's life in vital ways and their significance cannot be overlooked. But this is often precisely what happens when a divorce takes place-parents either share or split joint and legal custody, and the remainder of the family and friends often have to chose sides that affect how many times they can visit children, if at all.
Though North Dakota residents may believe the new year starts in January, the reality is that it starts in September for their school-going children. New teachers, new classes and friends, new schedules and new clothes-all items that help kids transition into their new year. Its difficult enough managing this transition when there is one household-two households only add to the confusion. However, planning ahead and clarifying intentions on how to get through the school year can ease the path for everyone involved.
Family law across the country, including in Fargo, tends to favor marries couples who have children. However, this does not mean that unmarried couples who have children, biological or adopted, have no rights under the law.
Premarital agreements have become a common feature of North Dakota marriages. In fact, most family lawyers who practice in the state will encourage their clients to sign such an agreement if the circumstances are appropriate. What happens, though, if circumstances change or the agreement is discovered to be unfair or the result of fraud?
Most men in North Dakota view fatherhood as a blessing and a significant obligation. Some men ignore any emotional attachment to a child and, instead, attempt to avoid their obligations to a child. For young mothers who are not married to the father of their child, formal legal proceedings may be needed to establish paternity of the child and to obtain child support and payment for medical care.
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.