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North Dakota Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer North Dakota divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
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General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
Where do I file my divorce papers in North Dakota? 3285
If the Defendant is a resident of xxstatename, then the divorce papers are filed at the Clerk of the District Court's office in the county where the Defendant resides. If the Defendant is not a resident of North Dakota, then the Plaintiff may file the divorce papers with the Clerk of the District Court's office in any county he/she prefers in North Dakota.
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 3287
If there are no minor children involved, the parties will most likely not be required to attend a hearing unless the judge determines one is necessary. If minor children are involved, a short (typically 15 minutes) hearing will be required.
What is considered to be the date of separation in North Dakota? 3289
The term "separation date" refers to the date when the spouses stopped living at the same residence.
What are the North Dakota residency requirements for filing for divorce? 3291
The plaintiff must have been a resident of North Dakota for six (6) months immediately before filing for divorce. If the plaintiff has not been a resident for this time period, the divorce cannot be finalized until the plaintiff has been a resident for six (6) full months immediately before the entry of the Judgment and Decree.
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in North Dakota? 3292
The no-fault grounds for divorce in North Dakota is irreconcilable differences. N.D.C.C. 14-05-03
What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in North Dakota? 3295
The basic steps to getting a divorce in North Dakota are:
  1. Plaintiff reviews and signs the initial divorce documents, then files the with the court clerk.
  2. Plaintiff serves the Defendant and provides the Defendant with the divorce documents he/she needs to complete and file.
  3. The parties attend a short hearing if minor children are involved.
How much is the filing fee in North Dakota? 3296
Please check with the District Court Clerk in the county in which the divorce will be filed to determine exact fees. The filing fee can vary from county to county, but is typically $80.00.
What documents are included in the self-prepared North Dakota DivorceWriter package? 3297
If you select a North Dakota divorce without children, you are selecting the following forms:Summons
  • Petition for Divorce
  • Settlement Agreement
  • Property and Debt Listing
  • Admission of Service
  • Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment
  • Judgment and Decree
  • If you select a North Dakota divorce with children, you are selecting the non-children forms as well as Financial Affidavit(s), a Parenting Plan, and Child Support Worksheet(s).
    How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in North Dakota? 3298
    In North Dakota, divorces are usually finalized one to three months from the date the Petition for Divorce is filed, however, depending on the court calendar and whether or not parties are required to attend a hearing, this time frame may be longer.
    How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in North Dakota? 3299
    Our North Dakota DivorceWriter documents include an Acceptance of Service, which is a document that the non-filing spouse will sign in front of a Notary Public. This document officially notifies the Court in writing that the non-filing spouse voluntarily waives the right to formal service of the divorce papers.
    Do we have to be separated to get a divorce in North Dakota? 3300
    No. There is no separation requirement in North Dakota.
    Can I change my name in North Dakota divorce proceedings? 3301
    Yes, the WIfe may request the Court restore a former or maiden name.
    Does North Dakota require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce? 3303
    No, North Dakota does not require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce.
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    We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? 3302
    DivorceWriter provides the option to enter information regarding an existing child support order including the amount of support ordered and other identifying case information. Generally, you will also be expected to staple one copy of the prior child support order to each copy of the Judgment and Decree you will file with the Court.
    What are the different types of custody in North Dakota? 3293
    The different types of custody in North Dakota are:

    Joint Legal Custody--both parents have responsibility and involvement in major decisions regarding the child’s welfare including matters of education, medical care and emotional, moral and religious development.d

    Joint Physical Custody-the child(ren) reside with and are under the supervision of each parent in such a way as to assure the child(ren) frequent and continued contact with both parents.

    Sole Legal Custody- one parent has the sole right and responsibility to make major decisions regarding the child’s welfare including matters of education, medical care and emotional, moral and religious development.

    Sole Physical Custody- the child(ren) reside with and are under the supervision of one parent, commonly subject to reasonable visitation by the other parent.
    When can a child support order be modified in North Dakota? 3294
    A child support order can be modified in North Dakota upon periodic review, or if the party seeking modification can show a material change in circumstances. N.D.C.C. 14-09-08.4
    What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? 3288
    DivorceWriter shows the child support calculation under the North Dakota child support guidelines.
    The customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount. If the amount is a deviation from the basic support obligation, the customer will explain the reasons for the deviation in the Settlement Agreement. The court will decide whether or not to approve the deviation.
    How is child support calculated in North Dakota? 3286
    The child support amount in North Dakota is based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income and the number of children they are supporting.
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