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Divorce Laws in North Dakota

In North Dakota, if either parent contests a custody or visitation issue, the court may order mediation, unless an allegation of physical or sexual abuse of either the parent, the child or any other party is involved. Mediation will be at the expense of the parent who raises the issue.

Residency and jurisdiction in North Dakota
The spouse who files for divorce, in North Dakota, must live in the State for at least six months before filing or before the divorce is granted.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce in North Dakota
North Dakota grants fault and no fault divorce. No fault divorce will be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Acceptable grounds for fault divorce are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Desertion
  • Neglect
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Conviction of a felony

Division of property in North Dakota
North Dakota is an "equitable distribution" State meaning the property is not divided 50/50, but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. If a couple cannot come to an agreement on property division the court will decide for them.

After the divorce has been granted and property division has been settled, the court may redistribute property if it is discovered that either spouse has hidden property or debts, or if either spouse fails to comply with the court order for property division.

Spousal support in North Dakota
In North Dakota, if the couple cannot come to an agreement on spousal support the court may order temporary or indefinite support. The court must take into consideration the circumstances of both spouses when determining support, and may modify support orders at a later date.

Child custody and support in North Dakota
When determining child custody in North Dakota, the courts must consider many factors including:

  • Love, affection, and emotional ties between parents and child
  • Willingness and ability to give the child, love, affection, guidance and an education
  • Willingness and ability to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, legal alternative medical care, and other material needs
  • Length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment with favor to maintaining stability
  • Permanence, as a family unit, of the parents home
  • Moral fitness
  • Mental and physical health of the parents
  • Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • Child’s wishes if the court believes that the child is intelligent, understanding, and experienced enough to express a preference
  • Domestic violence
  • Any history of violence of any person who may live with or frequently visit the parent
  • Intentionally false allegations of harm to the child made by one parent against the other

North Dakota uses the Percentage of Income formula for calculating child support. The court may order garnishment of wages to ensure timely payments.

If you are considering or facing divorce in North Dakota, contact an experienced North Dakota divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in North Dakota and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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