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Legal Information: North Dakota


Laws current as of December 28, 2023

What are some pros and cons of getting a parenting plan?

There are many reasons you might choose not to get a parenting plan from a judge. You may decide not to get an order because you don’t want to get the courts involved. You may already have an informal agreement with the other parent that works well for you or you may think that going to court will provoke the other parent into seeking more time and more rights with your child than you want.

However, in some cases it is a good idea to get a parenting plan from a judge. Having a court-ordered parenting plan might make it easier to deal with the other parent because the rights and responsibilities for each parent are stated clearly in the plan. You will have to make this choice based on your particular situation. A lawyer might be able to offer you advice about which choice is right for you. To find a lawyer in your area, please see our ND Finding a Lawyer page.

If you go to court, a judge can give you (or the other parent):

  • the right to make decisions about your child;
  • the right to have your child live with only one parent or to have the child live with both parents; and
  • the responsibility to make child support payments or the right to receive child support payments.

It is important to note that without an order from a judge, parents may be considered to legally have equal rights to their child even if one parent is the primary caretaker and the other isn’t involved.