North Dakota child support, custody, visitation, and wage garnishment rules
Use this North Dakota child support law to learn about your child support rights and responsibilites.
How is North Dakota child support determined?
In North Dakota, either parent may be ordered to pay child support. In determining the right amount of child support, the courts consider what is needed to give the child sufficient financial support, and an education that is appropriate for the child’s circumstances and aptitudes.
There are official North Dakota Child Support guidelines, designed to be in the best interests of the child, that the courts use to help determine the correct amount of child support. The courts may also order an additional add-on amount for childcare.
At what age does child support payments end?
Generally, the obligation ends when the child reaches 18 years of age.
North Dakota's custody guidelines:
Yes. Custody in North Dakota is based on the best interest of the child. The best interest and welfare of the child is determined by the court's consideration of the following factors:
- the love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the parents and the child
- the capacity and disposition of the parents to give the child love, affection and guidance and to continue the education of the child
- the disposition of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care (or remedial care permitted in lieu of medical care) and material needs
- the length of time the child has lived in a stable satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity
- the permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home
- the moral fitness of the parents
- the home, school and community record of the child
- the reasonable preference of the child if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding and experience to express a preference
- evidence of domestic violence
- the interaction and interrelationship (or the potential interaction and interrelationship) of the child with any person who resides in, is present in or frequents the household of a parent
- the making of false allegations about harm to a child by one parent against the other
- any other factors considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute
North Dakota's medical insurance guidelines:
Generally, the decision as to which parent is going to provide medical insurance coverage for the child and how medical bills will be paid is set out in the marital settlement agreement. Usually, if a reasonable medical insurance plan is available through one of the parent¹s employment, they are required to cover their child on it.
The availability of health insurance at a reasonable cost to a child who is the subject of a child support order constitutes a material change of circumstances. The need to provide the child's health care coverage through health insurance or other means also constitutes a material change of circumstance.
How permanent are the provisions for North Dakota child support and custody ?
Court orders providing for support and custody of children are subject to change or modification based upon a material change of circumstance.
While all orders concerning the children are modifiable in the future, we encourage you to not enter into an agreement based on the idea that it can always be changed or modified later.
Wage garnishment for child support payments:
Most states have a provision for withholding child support directly from the earnings of the parent who has been ordered to provide support. The payments are withheld much like income tax is withheld from earnings payments.
This way of paying and receiving child support is generally easier for both parties and considered a very dependable solution. The way it typically works is, once the support is withheld, it is then sent to the state agency authorized to receive and disburse payments. Once it has been verified that the support was paid, it is then sent to the parent designated to receive the support.
How does joint custody work?
Under joint custody, each parent has the following custody and visitation rights and duties:
- the right to access and obtain copies of the child's educational, medical, dental, religious, insurance and other records or information
- the right to attend educational conferences concerning the child
- the right to reasonable access to the child by written, telephonic and electronic means
- the duty to inform the other parent as soon as reasonable possible of serious accident or serious illness for which the child receives health care treatment
- the duty to keep the other parent informed of the name and address of the school the child attends
How North Dakota determines child visitation:
In a divorce ruling, the court may give direction for the custody, care and education of the children of the marriage. The court may modify this ruling at any time.
After making an award of custody, the court will, upon request of the non-custodial parent, grant rights of visitation. The rights of visitation will be awarded to enable the child and the non-custodial parent to maintain a parent-child relationship that will be beneficial to the child.
If, after a hearing, the court finds that visitation is likely to endanger the child's physical or emotional health, the court will not grant visitation rights to the non-custodial parent.
If the court finds that the non-custodial parent has committed an act of domestic violence which has resulted in bodily injury or has involved the use of a dangerous weapon, the court will allow only supervised visitation.
If the court finds that a parent has sexually abused the child, the court shall prohibit all visitation and contact between the child and the abusive parent.
If the court finds that the abusive parent has successfully completed a treatment program for sexual abusers and that supervised visitation is in the child's best interest, the court will allow supervised visitation.