The decision to get a divorce is not usually any easy choice to make. You have probably already experienced a substantial amount of stress and frustration. Now that you have made your decision, you want to find the easiest and fastest way to begin the process. Fortunately, North Dakota makes getting a divorce fairly straightforward, especially if you and your spouse agree on all matters of the divorce. In this instance you may qualify to do your own divorce without the services of a lawyer. If this is the case, you only need to fill out the correct divorce papers for North Dakota and submit them to your county clerk to begin the process.
Completing your divorce papers online with CompleteCase can make the process even easier, providing you with the required divorce forms for North Dakota and the guidance needed to fills out the forms correctly, the first time.
If you and your spouse are having difficulty coming to an agreement on issues like child custody, child support, spousal support and property division, you may want to talk to a divorce mediator. if your circumstance is further complicated, you may seek the advice of a divorce attorney.
The following information was compiled to help you understand the basics of divorce in North Dakota, and how you can start the process yourself.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in North Dakota in 2011 was 2.7 for every 1,000 residents. North Dakota's divorce rate is relatively low compared to other states in the U.S.
North Dakota accepts both fault-based and no-fault divorces. In a fault-based divorce, you must prove grounds for the divorce. The state accepts a number of different reasons for divorce, including adultery, abuse of alcohol and felony convictions. In a no-fault divorce, you only need to say that you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences”. Most people opt a no-fault divorce, as it is usually cheaper and faster than a fault-based divorce.
The standard residency requirement for divorce in North Dakota is six months. Sometimes the court will agree to grant the divorce if you have been a resident for six months by the time the divorce is completed by the court.
The divorce papers you file with the North Dakota court will vary depending on your individual circumstances, such as if you have minor children with your spouse or sometimes based on the county you are filing in. You should always verify with the county court where you will file that you are submitting all required documents.
Some common divorce papers in North Dakota include the “Summons”, the “Complaint” and the “Property and Debt Listing”. You can find a list of divorce forms online on the North Dakota Supreme Court website, along with information on the divorce process in the state. You should review all information available as the more you know about the process, the better you can protect your interests during the divorce.
If you find the large variety of forms and legal terms confusing, you are not alone. Unless you have legal training, you may not know exactly what forms to use or how to complete them. This is why many people choose to get their divorce documents online from CompleteCase.com. At CompleteCase.com, you can get help in choosing the right forms for your situation, and help completing those forms. With this help you can ensure that there are no unnecessary delays to your divorce due to incorrect paperwork.
Be sure to avoid signing any of your documents until you are in the presence of a notary public. North Dakota will only accept like statements, affidavits and other divorce-related documents if they have been notarized. Most county courts have a notary on hand to help, but you should inquire before you try to file.
When you have completed your divorce papers, online or otherwise, you will need to print a set of originals to file with the court, as well as two other sets – one for your records and one to serve to your spouse. It is always a good idea to contact the county clerk before attempt to file and verify that you are bringing everything you will need, including a form of payment for the state filing fee that is accepted by the court. If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you can request a waiver. If the court accepts your request you will not need to pay the fee to file for divorce. When the filing fee is considered paid and you have submitted your documents, the clerk will stamp them and give you your copies back.
“Serving” the papers means giving a set of your divorce documents to your spouse so he or she has a chance to respond. You have several options for service. Which you choose will depend on what terms you are on with your spouse.
If you and your spouse are on good terms, you can hand deliver the documents. Your spouse will need to complete an “Admission of Service” that acknowledges that the papers were delivered, which you will then file with the court. If you and your spouse are not on good terms or you do not want to hand deliver the documents, you can mail them using registered mail. You will need to get a receipt showing that your spouse signed for the divorce paperwork to file with the court. You may also hire a sheriff's deputy or a private process server to serve the papers if you believe your spouse will avoid signing for the papers.
When the papers have been served, the filing process will move forward. If you and your spouse are in agreement on all terms of the divorce, it should proceed fairly quickly. If you have things you need to work out in court through a trial, you can expect the divorce to take quite a bit longer.