Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities


The attorney you choose can have a lasting effect on the outcome of  your divorce, other family law-related issues, and perhaps most importantly, your future. When it comes to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, your lawyer should take into account the immediate needs and goals of you and your children as well as your plans going forward. 

Providing for the Best Interests of Your Kids

North Dakota and Minnesota courts require parenting plans that serve the best interests of children. The terms of these plans are affected by a number of factors as outlined by the courts. Some of these determining factors may include: 

  • The past and current relationship the child has with each parent
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate and work together to share custody
  • The home environment where the child will reside
  • Proximity to family, such as grandparents
  • Any special needs the child may have
  • Each parent's capacity to financially provide for the child
  • The moral fitness of the parents as that fitness affects the child (moral fitness is not clearly defined, but your attorney can explain how it may pertain to your situation)
  • The physical and mental fitness of the parents
  • The child's preference in cases where the child is old enough or mature enough to make an informed decision
  • Past reports of abuse, violence or neglect
  • How you and your attorney present them makes a difference. As a team of experienced family law attorneys, we often remind parents to focus on being the best parent they can be. You need to help your children cope with the issues related to the divorce and take positive steps toward the future.

Making a Plan: Parenting Time and Visitation

As part of a parenting plan, courts require that visitation or parenting schedules be worked out before a final divorce decree is issued by the courts. By working closely with you, we can work out a plan for parenting time that takes everyone's needs and schedules into account. Whether this is an issue resolved during mediation or through complex negotiations, we will be by your side to ensure your goals are met and your desires are represented and diligently pursued. 

Guiding You with Experience, Insight and Support

Knowing your rights and acting proactively is of critical importance. You can trust in the experience, skill, and personal service we will provide when you are facing divorce and a child custody dispute. With more than 20 years of experience in Minnesota and North Dakota, we have helped families with simple and complex child custody and child support negotiations, mediations, and litigation. We understand that your legal and personal concerns in your divorce or custody dispute are unique. That is why we offer the kind of personal attention that focuses on you, your goals and the best interests of your children.  

Child Support


 There's More to it Than Plugging Numbers Into a Formula

In North Dakota and Minnesota, parents have a duty to support their children to the best of their abilities. Whether you are the noncustodial parent or the custodial parent (the parent who is the child's primary caretaker), it's important to understand your financial obligations, how the amount of support you are required to pay is calculated, and to ensure that your child is receiving the support he or she needs and deserves. At Pladson Law Office, our team of lawyers can explain the state child support calculators, the child support guidelines in Minnesota and North Dakota, and help you determine the amount of support you will likely be entitled to receive to care for your child. With over 20 years of experience handling family law matters and extensive knowledge of the financial factors that play into these cases, we can help your family come to timely solutions while ensuring your child's lifestyle is maintained as much as possible going forward. 

Some Things to Consider Regarding Child Support and Divorce

Although calculating child support payments may sound relatively straightforward, there are numerous factors that can affect the amount. For example, the courts can order adjustments to further your child's best interests or may make changes if the amount places an undue hardship on the noncustodial parent. Furthermore, circumstances often change and you may need to revisit child support matters multiple times after you and the other parent of your child go separate ways. When starting out, we can help you determine what sources of income belonging to the noncustodial parent will factor into the amount of support your child will receive, including:  

  • Salary, wages, commissions and bonuses
  • Gambling winnings
  • Pensions
  • Severance pay
  • Payments from a trust
  • Royalties or dividends
  • Veterans' benefits, workers' comp benefits and Social Security

For underemployed or unemployed noncustodial parents, the court may impute income. We  can work with you to determine the gross income as well as understanding the deductions that result in the net income (the amount that determines the amount of support due).