Is the Peace Garden Not So Peaceful? Learn About North Dakota Divorce Laws
Divorce is a daunting prospect, but for many couples, it represents the only viable option.
DoNotPay can help with our breakdown of North Dakota divorce laws!
The only legal requirement to file for divorce in North Dakota is for the petitioner to live in the state at least six months before filing.
There are three types of no-fault divorce under ND law:
- Contested divorce
- Summary divorce
- Uncontested divorce
A contested divorce occurs when you and your spouse cannot agree on how your marriage should be dissolved.
Contested divorces often result in lengthy litigation, and a judge may eventually have to rule on the division of your assets, liabilities, and responsibilities.
This process can become protracted and expensive, with average contested divorce costs in the state sitting at around $8,000 per spouse.
You can apply for a summary divorce if you and your spouse:
- Have assets and liabilities amounting to a net value of $50,000 or less
- Own a home with a net value of $100,000 or less
- Agree on the general terms of the settlement but need help with issues around child custody, shared parenting, or child maintenance
In a summary divorce, the court can appoint mediators to help you reach a negotiated understanding that’s in the best interests of the child or children. If the mediation is successful, you can draw up a settlement agreement after filing your divorce papers.
The mediation process is normally free for the first six hours. If you don’t reach a settlement after that, you can elect to carry on with mediation at your own expense.
If the court decides that the case is unresolvable or too complex, it can cancel the summary divorce proceedings and revert to a contested divorce at any time.
If you and your spouse can agree on your settlement before filing your petition for divorce, you can apply for an uncontested—or friendly—divorce.
In such a case, you can include your settlement agreement as part of your uncontested divorce papers. It should include details of your arrangement regarding:
- Property division
In uncontested cases, you typically won’t have to attend court. A judge will check that your settlement agreement covers all the required elements and that you have fulfilled the residency requirements. If the judge is satisfied, your divorce will be granted within 30 to 90 days.
Starting the divorce process in North Dakota consists of three steps, as follows:
|Divorce Filing Action||Explanation|
|Filing a petition||Depending on the type of divorce you are seeking, you will have to fill out a series of forms, including:
The forms are provided by the North Dakota court system. Once you fill out the correct documents, you will receive copies signed by the clerk of your county court, together with a summons for your spouse
|Serving your spouse||Your spouse must sign for receipt of the summons, together with copies of all the divorce papers. You cannot deliver the papers yourself—it must be done by a sheriff or professional process server|
|Setting up a settlement agreement||Depending on the type of divorce you are seeking, your divorce settlement agreement should be:
If your spouse contests the divorce, the judge will make a ruling on your settlement. You and your spouse will be given copies of the ruling to sign before the divorce is granted
As the most important document in your divorce proceedings, your settlement agreement needs to be watertight and comprehensive.
Your options for setting up your divorce settlement agreement are as follows:
- Hire a lawyer—This is the default option for many couples but can quickly become expensive. It may be unnecessary if you and your spouse agree on most details of your settlement
- Use an online divorce service—Several websites offer settlement agreement templates for you to fill out. You should exercise caution, as many of them are generic and may not cover all the points your case requires
DoNotPay can solve the problem! We can create a divorce settlement agreement for you that is all-encompassing and eliminates the need for expensive lawyers!
DoNotPay wants your divorce in North Dakota to be as quick, cheap, and painless as possible!
Have you and your spouse reached a consensus on how your settlement should look? Our Divorce Settlement Agreement product can outline your understanding in a customized settlement agreement.
Here’s how to create this legal document:
- Sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser
- Navigate to our Divorce Settlement Agreement feature
- Follow the prompts and give us the details of your settlement
Once you are done, DoNotPay will generate your settlement agreement in an instant. You and your spouse can sign it and have it notarized.
Although certain tasks require you to get a lawyer’s assistance, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for their service. With DoNotPay, you can avoid figuring out the legal jargon and have peace of mind dealing with bureaucratic tasks the easy way.
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