North Dakota Divorce Requirements
The state of North Dakota requires that individuals petitioning for
divorce to be state residents. Residency is a stipulation as divorce
cases are handled by county courts. An individual must be a North
Dakota resident for a minimum of six months prior to filing for
divorce. However a separation can be granted if the individual resides
in the state for six months following the separation granting.
When both individuals reside in state lines either may petition for
divorce in his or her county. One individual, residing in the state,
may petition for a divorce through the county of his or her spouse
under this allowance.
Grounds for Divorce Filing
Two individuals may petition for divorce on decided grounds or one
individual may petition the court on certain grounds but will have to
provide evidence for these grounds in court. Each state has different
grounds for which it deems legal to petition for divorce. Not all
states have the same grounds. North Dakota grounds are broken into two
The first section is called No-Fault grounds where no individual is
held responsible for the petition for divorce. Under these grounds many
couples have preceded divorce petitioning with couple's counseling.
No-Fault grounds include irreconcilable difference. These grounds must
prove that the marriage cannot be mended under any circumstances.
The second section is called Fault grounds where one individual is held
responsible for the petition for divorce. Fault grounds include extreme
cruelty of one individual to another, adultery of either spouse,
willfully deserting a spouse, continual alcohol abuse or abuse of
controlled substances, willfully neglecting a spouse, and conviction of
a felony offense that will result in several years of incarceration.
Each divorce case is different and the number of documents required
depends on the marriage's circumstances. For example if children are
present, more document will be required. Documents can be very few or
can be as high as twenty for a single divorce.
Some of these documents can include a Complaint for Divorce and Decree
of Divorce form, a Verification form, a Notice of Final Hearing form, a
Marital Settlement Agreement form, a Declaration Under the Uniform
Child Custody Jurisdiction form, and a Financial Affidavit form. All of
the documents will be filed to the county clerk's office where the
divorce was petitioned.
North Dakota is considered an equitable distribution state where all of
the marital property acquired during the marriage will be divided
fairly. Under this law property does not necessarily have to be divided
equally between the spouses.
If the individuals cannot reach an agreement for who shall keep which
property, the court will award the property accordingly. The court will
consider each individual's circumstances before awarding property,
including employment, child custody, economic status, opportunity for
employment, contribution to the household, and others.
The parent with child custody may be awarded the family home in a
settlement. All the property obtained prior to the marriage shall be
kept by that individual. Exchanged gifts may be kept or may be awarded