Selected State Statutes: North Dakota

Statutes: North Dakota

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14-09-06.6. Limitations on postjudgment modifications of primary residential responsibility

1. Unless agreed to in writing by the parties, or if included in the parenting plan, no motion for an order to modify primary residential responsibility may be made earlier than two years after the date of entry of an order establishing primary residential responsibility, except in accordance with subsection 3.

2. Unless agreed to in writing by the parties, or if included in the parenting plan, if a motion for modification has been disposed of upon its merits, no subsequent motion may be filed within two years of disposition of the prior motion, except in accordance with subsection 5.

3. The time limitation in subsections 1 and 2 does not apply if the court finds:

a. The persistent and willful denial or interference with parenting time;

b. The child's present environment may endanger the child's physical or emotional health or impair the child's emotional development; or

c. The primary residential responsibility for the child has changed to the other parent for longer than six months.

4. A party seeking modification of an order concerning primary residential responsibility shall serve and file moving papers and supporting affidavits and shall give notice to the other party to the proceeding who may serve and file a response and opposing affidavits. The court shall consider the motion on briefs and without oral argument or evidentiary hearing and shall deny the motion unless the court finds the moving party has established a prima facie case justifying a modification. The court shall set a date for an evidentiary hearing only if a prima facie case is established.

5. The court may not modify the primary residential responsibility within the two-year period following the date of entry of an order establishing primary residential responsibility unless the court finds the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child and:

a. The persistent and willful denial or interference with parenting time;

b. The child's present environment may endanger the child's physical or emotional health or impair the child's emotional development; or

c. The residential responsibility for the child has changed to the other parent for longer than six months.

6. The court may modify the primary residential responsibility after the two-year period following the date of entry of an order establishing primary residential responsibility if the court finds:

a. On the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior order or which were unknown to the court at the time of the prior order, a material change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or the parties; and

b. The modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.

7. The court may modify a prior order concerning primary residential responsibility at any time if the court finds a stipulated agreement by the parties to modify the order is in the best interests of the child.

8. Upon a motion to modify primary residential responsibility under this section, the burden of proof is on the moving party.