Establishing Custody (Residential Responsibility) and Visitation (Parenting Time)

Overview

(In 2009, the North Dakota State Legislature changed the term Custody to Residential Responsibility and changed the term Visitation to Parenting Time.)

Parents who have never been married to each other may ask a North Dakota State District Court to establish residential responsibility and parenting time to their children.

This is called an action to establish Parenting Rights and Responsibilities.

Residency Requirement for Establishing Parenting Rights and Responsibilities

A North Dakota State District Court can establish parenting rights and responsibilities to a minor child when:

  • North Dakota is the home state of the child on the date the parenting rights and responsibilities action starts; or
  • North Dakota was the home state of the child within six months before the date the parenting rights and responsibilities action started, and the child is absent from North Dakota but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in North Dakota; or
  • North Dakota is not the home state, but a court of the child’s home state declined jurisdiction because North Dakota is the more appropriate forum, and:
    • The child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with North Dakota other than mere physical presence; and
    • Substantial evidence is available in North Dakota concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships.

Forms and Guides for Establishing Parenting Rights and Responsibilities

Forms are not available for every legal issue 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.

Establishing Parenting Rights and Responsibilities Forms:

Establishing Parenting Rights and Responsibilities Informational Guides:


Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules

Following are legal research starting points related to establishing parenting rights and responsibilities. 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 establishing parenting rights and responsibilities 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.