14-09-05.1. Grandparental rights of visitation to unmarried minors-- Mediation or arbitration
1. The grandparents and great-grandparents of an unmarried minor child may be granted reasonable visitation rights to the child by the district court upon a finding that visitation would be in the best interests of the child and would not interfere with the parent-child relationship.
2. The court shall consider the amount of personal contact that has occurred between the grandparents or great-grandparents and the child and the child’s parents.
3. This section does not apply to agency adoptions or when the child has been adopted by a person other than a stepparent or grandparent. Any visitation rights granted under this section before the adoption of the child may be terminated upon the adoption if termination of the rights is in the best interest of the child.
4. An application for visitation rights under this section may be considered by the district court in conjunction with a divorce proceeding involving the parent of the minor child. If any district court of this state retains jurisdiction over the residential placement of the minor child or children by virtue of any prior proceedings, the rights conferred by this section may be enforced by the grandparents or the great-grandparents through motion under the prior proceeding. If no district court otherwise has jurisdiction, a proceeding to enforce grandparental rights may be brought against the parent having primary residential responsibility as a civil action and venued in the county of residence of the minor child.
5. The district court may require mediation of the matter under chapter 14-09.1. If mediation fails and if the mediator agrees, the court may order the dispute arbitrated by the person who attempted mediation. Joinder of grandparents or of great-grandparents awarded visitation rights under this section must occur in any proceeding to terminate parental rights.