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North Dakota Child Custody Laws

When parents of dependent children separate, they must come up with a plan for how they will make major decisions and how they will share their time. If parents are unable to reach an agreement, state child custody laws inform the court on how to proceed -- always with the child's own best interests in mind. While "physical custody" refers to where the child lives, "legal custody" refers to the parents' abilities to make important life decisions for their child.

All states except Massachusetts adhere to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). North Dakota is one of these states. This article provides a general overview of child custody laws in the state of North Dakota.

North Dakota Child Custody Laws: At a Glance

You can find additional details about North Dakota child custody laws in the chart below. See FindLaw's extensive Child Custody section for more articles and resources.

Code Section

§ 14-09-06 et seq. of the North Dakota Century Code

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes (the decision is made based on the assumption that it is best for the child to have a close relationship with both parents, depending on the circumstances)

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 14-09.4-03

Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes, § 14-09-06.2

Note: State laws tend to change quite frequently through a number of means, including the enactment of new legislation and decisions from higher courts. You may want to contact a North Dakota child custody attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

North Dakota Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help with Child Custody

If you and your child's other parent are separating, you might not agree on how the child custody arrangement should look. There are many factors to consider in these determinations, but the court's primary concern will be the best interests of the child. One of the best ways to get a handle on the process is to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney.

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