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DO IT YOURSELF DIVORCE IN NORTH DAKOTA

Doing a divorce without a lawyer in the state of North Dakota is very common, especially when you and your spouse agree about everything, thus making your divorce very amicable and uncontested. An uncontested divorce is the easiest and fastest type of divorce to file. Even though there is still quite a bit of paperwork to file, the timeline is much shorter and the cost is much less.

Grounds for Divorce in North Dakota

No fault grounds in North Dakota are irreconcilable differences; fault grounds are adultery, extreme cruelty, willful desertion, and willful neglect, abuse of alcohol or controlled substances and conviction of felony.

Residency Rules for a North Dakota Divorce

A party must reside in North Dakota for six months before filing for a legal separation or divorce. The action must be brought in the county in which the defendant or one of the parties resides at the time of the commencement of the action.

North Dakota Divorce Process

In an uncontested pro se divorce, the plaintiff completes the top part of the Summons (the bottom part will be filled in when the documents are filed), the Complaint, the Settlement Agreement, and the Property and Debt Listing form. The plaintiff also needs the Verification, but he or she should not complete and sign it except in front of a notary. The Settlement Agreement and Property and Debt Listing forms also have to be notarized.

North Dakota online divorce process The plaintiff files the divorce papers and pays a filing fee unless he or she is indigent.

The clerk files the papers and assigns the case file number. A judge reviews the divorce papers and decides if they can be approved immediately, or if a hearing is needed. If a hearing is needed, the plaintiff receives another letter from the clerk of court with a hearing date and a copy of some additional forms that must be completed and brought to the hearing. These will include Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment and a Judgment or Redacted Judgment form.

The plaintiff makes two copies of the Summons and Complaint and sends one copy of each to the defendant via the postal service or hands them over personally. The plaintiff also sends the Admission of Service form to the defendant, which he or she completes and returns and which proves that he or she knows about the action.

The plaintiff should mail or give the defendant the Settlement Agreement and Property and Debt Listing. The defendant must sign the same original document, and he or she should make a copy of the documents and return them to the plaintiff. The Property and Debt Listing details each spouse's financial picture, from employment and assets, to liabilities and monthly expenses. The form helps everyone reach a fair agreement.

In an uncontested divorce, where the parties agree on all the terms and conditions, the spouses do not have to appear in court. Instead, they can file an Affidavit of Proof for Stipulated Judgment. They acknowledge that they agree on everything. An uncontested divorce requires bilateral agreement; the couple cannot file a stipulated divorce when they have unresolved questions and issues. Here is more information regarding the process of filing uncontested divorce papers in North Dakota.

Along with the Stipulation, the parties file a Settlement Agreement, Property and Debt Listing Form and a Parenting Plan setting forth how they wish to divide their assets and assign parenting time and custody rights.

Additionally, individual counties might require other forms regarding health insurance and child support. The court may grant a temporary or permanent decree of separation for any cause for which a divorce may be decreed, which may include an order requiring payment of alimony and child support as well as provide for the equitable division of the property and debts of the parties.

In any proceeding involving an order, modification or enforcement related to custody, support, or visitation in which issues are contested, the court may order mediation at the parties' own expense, but it may not order mediation if the custody, support, or visitation issue involve or may involve physical or sexual abuse of any party or the child of any party to the proceeding.

A North Dakota absolute divorce decree is not finalized for a minimum of 30 to 90 days. Learn the best ways to save money when doing your own divorce in North Dakota.

Do It Yourself Online Divorce in North Dakota

Our online divorce makes it easy to file your own divorce in the state of North Dakota. In as little as 20 minutes you can have all your completed divorce forms and filing instructions ready for signing and filing. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times. See if you qualify below:

North Dakota Property Division

The court divides property and debts of the parties equitably. The court may redistribute property after the divorce if a party fails to disclose property and debts properly or the party fails to comply with the terms of a court order distributing property and debts.

North Dakota is an equitable distribution state and an all property state, which means that separate as well as marital property is subject to distribution. The courts generally accept a fair and reasonable property division the parties agree to, but if the parties cannot agree, the General Court divides the property within the Judgment of Divorce. There shall be an equal division by using net value of marital property and net value of divisible property unless the court determines that an equal division is not equitable.

Separate property is all real and personal property acquired by a spouse before marriage or by bequest, devise, descent, or gift during the course of the marriage.

The appreciation of all property is marital. In North Dakota, it does not matter whether title to property is in the husband's name, the wife's name, or both.

After the court classifies assets as marital or separate, it considers the economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective; the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker; the value of the separate property set apart to each spouse; the conduct of the parties during the marriage; and the custodial arrangements for minor children.

As in other jurisdictions, divorcing couples normally sell the marital home and divide the profits, or sell the home to one party and refinance, or the custodial parent occupies the house until the last child leaves school and then sell it.

The court may include the retirement benefits and plans earned by both spouses as marital assets available for division. Retirement plans are either Defined Contribution Plans (DC), such as a 401(k), or Defined Benefit Plans (DB), which is the company pension. Several different methods of valuation are used in determining how much a marital asset is worth. Courts generally accept the value when the spouses mutually agree on a value of a particular asset. That part of a pension accumulated during a marriage is community property and subject to distribution. When spouses share in each other's pension plan, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be prepared. The QDRO spells out the terms and conditions of the pension distribution.

North Dakota Alimony and Spousal Support

The court may require one party to pay spousal support to the other party for any period of time based on the circumstances of the parties. The court may order either party to pay alimony, and considers the circumstances of each party. Any award is based on the needs of the respective parties.

Either party may petition for alimony, but the court shall exercise its discretion in determining the amount, duration, and the manner of payment, and shall consider all relevant factors, including the marital misconduct of either of the spouses. The duration of the award may be either for a specified or for an indefinite term. Courts may order temporary, short- and long-term alimony.

Remarriage of the recipient or death of either party is generally grounds for termination.

Child Custody in North Dakota

Custody may be awarded to either the father or the mother; however, North Dakota law expresses a preference for parents to share as equally as practically possible in the custody of a child in a divorce case. In joint custody, both parents have joint rights and responsibilities; however, this regime may not always be applicable when the child's welfare is at risk with the other parent.

The court determines the best interests and welfare of the child by evaluating a variety of factors, including but not limited to, the love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parents and child, the capacity and disposition of the parents to give the child love, affection, and the court considers a spouse's history with an eye for tendencies make him or her unsuitable as a parent.

North Dakota courts may order divorcing parents with minor children to complete a parenting class before granting a divorce. The Judge's may require parents to take a parenting class.

Either joint custody or sole custody can be granted; however, the courts consider joint custody favorably because it promotes the continuing relationship between the parents and the child, and both parents have joint rights and responsibilities in childrearing. However, this shall not be granted if the child's well being is at risk with one of the parents.

Gender of the parent does not determine custody. The courts hold that joint custody is in the best interests of a child, but this does not imply an equal division of the child's time between the parents or an equal division of financial responsibility for the child.

The North Dakota courts have full discretion when determining visitation between children and parents.

North Dakota Child Support Guidelines

The court may compel either or both of the parents to support their children. A judgment or order requiring the payment of child support until the child attains majority continues until the end of the month during which the child is graduated from high school or attains the age of nineteen years, whichever occurs first. The child must reside with the person to whom the duty of support is owed.

North Dakota uses the percentage of income formula that determines the amount of child support as a percentage of the income of the parent obligated to pay the child support. This percentage is determined by factoring the number of children requiring support. The percentage of income method is the most basic method for calculating support. Some people think that it does not take into consideration many important details, which makes this model of support calculation the least exact. Once this amount is determined it is essential to look at any appropriate North Dakota child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation.

Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. The court may deviate from child support guidelines when it finds that their application "would not meet, or would exceed, the reasonable needs of the child."

Process of Service for Divorce in North Dakota

Personal service of process in North Dakota is made by delivering a copy of the summons to the defendant personally, or leaving a copy of the summons at his or her dwelling house or usual place of abode in the presence of a mature persons, or delivering, at the office of the process server, a copy of the summons to his or her spouse if they reside together, or delivering a copy of the summons to his or her agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process, or any form of mail or third-party commercial delivery addressed to the defendant to be served and requiring a signed receipt and resulting in delivery to the defendant.

A defendant, who has not been served personally, may be served by publication.

A Simple Divorce Process
Step 1 See if you qualify & create account!
Step 2 Answer the questions at your own pace.
Step 3 Print, sign and file your divorce forms with your local court (instantly review & print your forms online or have them sent US Priority Mail at no additional charge).

START HERE

Only $299 (flat-fee)

or 2 monthly payments of $157
or 3 monthly payments of $109
or 4 monthly payments of $84
Payment Options Do Not Delay Divorce
Instant Delivery - Instant Changes
100% Guarantee of Court Approval
or Your Money Back
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Disclaimer: This is a quality non-lawyer self-help online divorce solution. The 3StepDivorceTM Documentation software and service is not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. 3StepDivorce does not practice law and does not give out legal advice. This online divorce software and service allows you to represent yourself in doing your own divorce. If you need or desire legal representation, we recommend that you hire a lawyer. Click here to learn more. There may also be other pro se divorce options available by contacting your court.

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