North Dakota Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers ND


North Dakota has divorce rate of 2.7% per 1,000 of the population, which makes it 4th lowest in the nation.You will find both no-fault and fault grounds for divorce in North Dakota. Most commonly divorce is granted on no fault ground. However for fault ground divorce a substantial proof must be furnished before the divorce court.

According to statistics of 2002, there were round of 30,968 hearings for the declaration of nullity in North America. It means over 80% of people wish to get their marriage annulled. But churches and courts have made the process so difficult that no one can establish it. The reason because of which some people choose annulment is that they want to remarry in church for a matter of honor and to be safe of the stigma of divorce.

We suggest you to receive a professional divorce lawyer’s advice, before any furtherance of divorce process.

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Divorce Grounds in North Dakota

Divorce grounds in North Dakota are categorized into:

No-Fault Divorce Grounds in North Dakota

There is only one no-fault divorce ground in North Dakota, which is:

Irreconcilable Difference

Under this No-fault ground the divorce court of North Dakota grants divorce on the basis of irreconcilable differences. Irreconcilable differences mean that both the parties are incapable of staying together and the only option to overcome this misery is divorce.

Fault Divorce Grounds in North Dakota

Following are the fault-based grounds for divorce in North Dakota:


Adultery is a common divorce ground in North Dakota. The court shall grant the divorce on this divorce ground in North Dakota, provided all blames provoke by the petitioner are being supported with appropriate evidence.

Extreme Cruelty

Extreme cruelty is when either spouse has treated the other badly enough as to cause serious health damage or injury. The claimant can also requests a petition for divorce on this divorce ground in North Dakota, due to hostile and unfriendly atmosphere at home.

Wilful Desertion

Desertion is usually wilful, when any spouse disappears with no plausible excuse and without the consent of the other spouse, the other spouse is entitled to obtain a divorce on this divorce ground in North Dakota.

Wilful Neglect

Neglectful behavior of one spouse is a valid fault divorce ground in North Dakota. If one spouse is not providing for the other when s/he can afford to, the other one can obtain divorce on this divorce ground in North Dakota.

Abuse of Alcohol or Controlled Substances

To get a divorce on this ground for divorce, the petitioner has to furnish the divorce court with evidence of:

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  • Respondent’s being habitual drunkard
  • Respondent’s habitual drinking causing a rift in the married life


Under this ground for divorce, if the liable is sentenced to prison, the claimant can request for divorce.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in North Dakota.

North Dakota Divorce Laws

North Dakota has following divorce laws:


In North Dakota, the residency requirements set by North Dakota divorce laws must be met before filing a divorce case. The case must lie under the jurisdictions of the court, else it will be dismissed. The residency requirements are as follows:

  • The plaintiff in good faith has been a resident of the state for six months immediately after the case is filed.
  • If the plaintiff has not been a resident of this state for the six months preceding commencement of the action, a separation or divorce may be granted if the plaintiff in good faith has been a resident of this state for the six months immediately preceding entry of the decree of separation or divorce

Documents Required for Filing Divorce

The essential documents needed to start and finalize a divorce according to North Dakota divorce laws are as below:

  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Decree of Divorce

A few other documents that are typically filed during the process are:

  • Verification
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Declaration Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act
  • Notice of Final Hearing

Property Distribution

North Dakota is regarded as an “equitable distribution” state; the property is divided in an equitable (fair) fashion. The divorce court encourages the parties to reach a settlement on property and debt issues otherwise it declares the property award.

Change of Name or Restoration of Name

According to North Dakota divorce laws, the female spouse may request at the time of filing for a divorce to restore her name to her former or maiden name.


Alimony is a support from one spouse to the other. This obligation, financially for a temporary or permanent basis, is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the North Dakota divorce court’s discretion. If the parties have not agreed to a support amount, the court will take into consideration the circumstances of the parties; the court may require one party to pay spousal support to the other party for any period of time.

Mediation Counseling

Under North Dakota divorce laws, the court may not order mediation at the parties’ own expense if the custody, support, or visitation issue involves or may involve physical or sexual abuse of any party or the child of any party to the proceeding.

Child Custody

Considering North Dakota divorce laws, the divorce courts consider and evaluate few factors those affect the best interests and welfare of the child. As child custody is a critical issue, the North Dakota courts make their possible best efforts to help reduce the emotional trauma the child may be experiencing.

Child Support

North Dakota divorce laws’ child support guidelines use the Percentage of Income formula for calculating child support. A percentage of the income of the non-custodial parent is calculated upon whom the child support is made obligatory. This method simply helps in estimating the number of children requiring support.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for comprehensive divorce laws information of your state.

North Dakota Annulment Laws

The basic aim of an annulment is to declare an illegal marriage void. In annulment, marriage is treated as it never existed. Divorce rate is much higher then annulment because divorce grounds are relatively easy to prove. The annulment grounds differ from state to state. The North Dakota annulment grounds set by North Dakota annulment laws are:

Fraud & Duress

Getting the consent for a marriage by force or duress is a crime. If you have given your consent for the marriage under a threat or duress, you can get annulment under North Dakota annulment laws.

Mental Illness

According to North Dakota annulment laws, you can get annulment, if your spouse has some mental illness.

Physical Disability

If your spouse has a physical disability which is affecting your relationship, you can get your marriage annulled under North Dakota annulment laws.

Bigamy and Polygamy

Bigamy is when a married person enters into another marriage without divorcing from his or her first spouse. Polygamy is, when a person gets into marriage with more than two spouses. Both bigamy and polygamy are illegal according to North Dakota marriage laws and are valid grounds for annulment under North Dakota annulment laws.

North Dakota Divorce Laws-Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I get the custody of my child?

    North Dakota divorce courts give an option to the parents to settle down the child custody issue. If both the spouses are unable to agree upon child custody issue, the court will grant custody either solely or jointly to the parents. The most important thing the court reflects on is the interest of a child.

  2. Do court grants custody to mothers only?

    There is no North Dakota divorce law which states giving priority to mothers in case of child custody. Generally, fathers obtain the child custody. North Dakota divorce laws are against favoring one parent over another. The best way to get custody is to fulfil the court requirements and gain the interest of the child.

  3. What is meant by supervised visitation according to North Dakota divorce laws?

    It is a type of visitation which allows non-custodial spouse to visit the child for a particular time and at particular place.

  4. Can grandparents get the child custody?

    The court gives priority to the parents for child custody. In case of any circumstances like inability or imprisonment, the court may allow a third party such as grandparents to look after the child.

  5. If the non-custodial spouse refuses to return the child to the custodial one, in this case what will happen?

    In case of a twelve year old child, a non-custodial spouse cannot keep a child for more than 48 hours or cannot move the child away from the state.

  6. What can I do, if my spouse does not allow me to visit my child?

    According to North Dakota divorce laws, a custodial parent can never restrict the non-custodial parent to visit the child. If this situation occurs, then the spouse can ask for a visitation order from the divorce court.

  7. How long should I reside in North Dakota to file for a divorce?

    For North Dakota divorce, the plaintiff must be living in the state for at least 6 months to claim a North Dakota divorce.

  8. Should I and my spouse both reside in North Dakota to file for a divorce?

    North Dakota divorce laws state that either of the spouses must be a resident of the state to file a divorce.

  9. Can I represent myself in the court in place of a divorce attorney?

    You have the right to represent yourself in the court but you should know the court procedures and paperwork. It is highly recommended to hire a divorce attorney because s/he will be professional and can understand the court proceedings better.

Divorce Lawyers Near Me

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