When parties divorce who have children in common, they implicitly (and, oftentimes, unwillingly) enter into a long-term relationship with the North Dakota family law court and judge that have jurisdiction over their cases. As the couple’s child grows and develops, one parent or the other will invariably feel the need to bring some situation to the court’s attention for review and adjudication. Are divorced parents doomed to constantly return to court? Not necessarily, but there are situations that should be brought to the court’s attention – and quickly.
Generally speaking, any situation that could potentially negatively impact the child’s well-being that impacts the ability of one parent or the other to exercise reasonable parenting time with the child, or that affects the amount of support provided by one parent or the other should be brought to the court’s attention. This includes:
- Changes in the parents’ income: Because child support payments are based on the income of the parents, a significant and permanent change in one parent’s income may warrant a recalculation of the child support obligation by the court: if the court finds the change in income is likely to be permanent and is not the result of a deliberate attempt by one party or the other to avoid paying the full amount of support due.
- One parent wanting to move from the area: The parent with primary residential responsibility may not move out of state without the other parents’ consent or the consent of the court. Don’t assume you can move. A move (whether because of a new spouse, a new job, or some other reason) can have a significant impact on any existing parenting plan and the expenses both parents might experience in making the parenting plan work. Unless the parties can agree to modifications in the existing parenting time arrangement, intervention by the court may be necessary. Even when the parties can agree on how the parenting time arrangement should be modified, such an agreement may need to be submitted to the court for approval.
- One parent engaging in harmful or dangerous conduct around the children: If you believe the other parent is endangering the health or safety of your children, you may need the courts’ assistance to keep your child safe.
Get Help from an Experienced North Dakota Family Law Attorney
Tracy Lyson of the North Dakota law firm O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys can help you decide what issues in your divorce or family law case can be resolved outside of court and which issues will need court intervention in order to be properly resolved. Contact Tracy Lyson and the family law team of O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys today by calling (701) 235-8000 or (877) 235-8002.
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