Modify Primary Custody (N.D. Court Orders Only)


When a North Dakota state district court awards residential responsibility (custody) in a family law case, such as divorce, legal separation, or other action to establish parenting rights and responsibilities, either parent may ask the court to modify primary residential responsibility (custody) in the existing case, if certain requirements are met.

The parent asking for modification must establish, in writing, a prima facie case for modification of primary residential responsibility (custody).  The other parent may challenge the modification request, in writing.

The court reviews the documents served and filed by the parent asking for modification and the documents served and filed by the other parent in response.

If the court determines that the parent requesting modification established a prima facie case for modification, in writing, the court will schedule an in-person evidentiary hearing.

At the hearing, the parent asking for modification to primary residential responsibility (custody) has the burden of proving they meet all of the legal requirements for modification.

(“Prima facie case” is not defined in the laws enacted by the North Dakota State Legislature related to modifying primary residential responsibility.  You will need to research court opinions to define prima facie case and interpret for your circumstances.  Information about legal research is available in the forms and guides linked below.)

Forms and Guides for Modifying Primary Residential Responsibility (Custody)

Forms to modify primary residential responsibility (custody) are not available for every situation or circumstance.  If you do not find a form that suits your circumstances on this website, the form is not available through the North Dakota Legal Self Help Center.

You may need to create legal documents yourself.  The General-Use forms in the District Court Civil Action Section of this website may be used as a starting point for creating your own legal documents.

Modifying Primary Residential Responsibility (Custody) Forms:

Modifying Primary Residential Responsibility (Custody) Research Guides:

  • Modifying Primary Residential Responsibility
    • Provides a starting point for your legal research if neither modifying primary residential responsibility (custody) form set suits your circumstances
    • Includes general information about the legal documents you will need to create in order to bring a motion to modify primary residential responsibility (custody) your current North Dakota court order

Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules

Following are legal research starting points related to modifying primary residential responsibility (custody). You may need to conduct additional legal research into your legal issue.  See the Legal Research Section of this website.

Other Resources

Following are other resources related to modifying primary residential responsibility (custody) proceedings that may be of interest.

If you do not understand any of this information, or if you have trouble filling out any of the forms located here, please see an attorney for help.

The information provided on and obtained from this site does not constitute the official record of the Court. This information is provided as a service to the general public. Any user of this information is hereby advised that it is being provided "as is". The information provided may be subject to errors or omissions. Visitors to this site agree that the Court is not liable for errors or omissions of any of the information provided.

If you have a question relating to a case that is already filed please contact the clerk of court for the county.