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Out-of-State or Tribal Court Custody or Visitation Orders

Overview of North Dakota’s Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) provides procedures for courts of different states and tribes to determine which state or tribe has the authority, commonly known as jurisdiction, to make decisions about child custody and visitation.  To date, 49 states have enacted a version of the UCCJEA.  The North Dakota State Legislature enacted North Dakota’s version of the UCCJEA in 1999.

North Dakota’s version of the UCCJEA allows a North Dakota state district court to recognize, enforce, and, if certain legal requirements are met, modify an out-of-state or tribal court custody or visitation order.

Register an Out-of-State or Tribal Court Custody or Visitation Order:

When an out-of-state or tribal court issues an order governing the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation of a minor child, a person granted custody or visitation in the order may ask a North Dakota state district court to register the order.

In general, registration is the first step to making other requests related to the out-of-state or tribal court order, including requesting enforcement or modification.

Enforcement of an Out-of-State or Tribal Court Custody or Visitation Order:

A person granted custody or visitation in an out-of-state or tribal court order may ask a North Dakota state district court to enforce the order.  The North Dakota state district court may enforce the current custody and visitation provisions of the order.

Registration of the out-of-state or tribal court order is required.  If the order has not already been registered, the person requesting enforcement may request registration at the same time.

Modify of an Out-of-State or Tribal Court Custody or Visitation Order:

A North Dakota state district court may modify an out-of-state or tribal court custody or visitation order only if:

  • North Dakota is the home state of the child before commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding, and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state;

OR

  • A court of another state does not have jurisdiction as the home state, or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that North Dakota is the more appropriate forum, and (1) 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 this state other than mere physical presence, and (2) substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships.

Guides for Out-of-State or Tribal Court Custody or Visitation Orders

Forms 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.

Informational Guides:


Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules

Following are legal research starting points related to out-of-state or tribal court custody or visitation order. 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 out-of-state or tribal court custody or visitation order 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.