Entertainment Love and Romance North Dakota Child Custody and Relocation Laws Share PINTEREST Email Print JLP/Jose L. Pelaez/Fuse/Getty Images Love and Romance Divorce Relationships Sexuality Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Debrina Washington Family law attorney and writer University of Pittsburgh School of Law Skidmore College Debrina L. Washington is a New York-based family law attorney and writer, who runs her own virtual practice to assist single parents with legal issues. our editorial process Debrina Washington Updated November 21, 2019 North Dakota uses several criteria to determine child custody laws. Primarily, a family court in North Dakota determines custody based on the best interests of the child. In North Dakota, parents who wish to file for custody should first become familiar with the child custody laws in North Dakota. Best Interests of the Child A family court in North Dakota uses several factors to determine the best interests of the child. Some factors considered in determining a child's best interests are: Each parent's ability to provide proper food, shelter, medical care, and clothingThe child's home, school, and community recordsThe mental and physical health of the parentsEach parent's willingness to support and encourage a relationship between the child and the child's other parentAny history of domestic violenceThe child's preference, if the child is mature enough to make a reasonable decision (usually age 12 or older); the court will also consider whether the child's preference was influenced by anyone elseEach parent's love and affection towards the child, as well as each parent's ability to provide love and stabilityAny false allegations made by one parent against the other parent that could cause, or could have caused, harm to the child Child Custody Modification in North Dakota In North Dakota, a court will not order a modification of custody until at least two years following the date of the original order, unless the court finds: A custody modification serves the child's best interestsThere has been a persistent and willing interference with the current custodial arrangementThe child's current environment poses a physical or emotional danger to the child's developmentThe primary custodial arrangement has changed for the past six months to the child's other parent Relocation in North Dakota A custodial parent may relocate with a child under certain limited circumstances including: If the court permits the change in primary residence, orIf the child's other parent agrees to the relocation (in cases where the court has given the other parent visitation rights) A court in North Dakota does not require a court order if the child's other parent: Has not exercised visitation rights for a period of one year, orHas moved to another state and is more than 50 miles away from the residence of the primary custodian For more information about North Dakota child custody, speak with a qualified attorney in North Dakota or refer to the North Dakota Century Code.