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North Dakota Divorce Definitions

This collection of definitions will help clarify some unique characteristics to the North Dakota Divorce laws, process and paperwork which is filed with the court.

Filing Party Title:
Plaintiff

The spouse who will initiate the Divorce by filing the required paperwork with the court.

Non-Filing Party Title:
Defendant

The spouse who does not initiate the Divorce with the court.

Court Name:
State of North Dakota, County of ___________, In the District Court, __________ Judicial District

The proper name of the court in which a Divorce is filed in the state of North Dakota. Each jurisdictional court typically has a domestic relations or a family law department or division.

Child Support Enforcement Website:
http://lnotes.state.nd.us/

The state run office devoted to enforcing existing child support orders and collecting any past due child support.

Document Introduction:
In Re the Marriage of:

The lead-in verbiage used in the legal caption or header of the documents filed with the court. The introduction typically prefaces both spouse’s names.

Initial Divorce Document:
Complaint for Divorce

The title and name of the legal document that will initiate the North Dakota Divorce process. The filing spouse is also required to provide the non-filing spouse a copy of this document.

Final Divorce Document:
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order for Judgment

The title and name of the legal document that will finalize the North Dakota Divorce process. This document will be signed by the judge, master, or referee of the court to declare your marriage officially terminated.

Clerk’s Office Name:
District Clerk’s Office

The office of the clerk that will facilitate the Divorce process. This is the title you would address letters to or ask for when contacting the courthouse.

Legal Separation:

The grounds for legal separation (separation from bed and board) in North Dakota are: (1) irreconcilable differences; (2) adultery; (3) confinement for incurable insanity for a period of 5 years; (4) conviction of a felony; (5) willful desertion; (6) cruel and inhuman treatment; (7) willful neglect; and (8) habitual intemperance (drunkenness). The spouse filing for legal separation must be a resident of North Dakota for at least 6 months prior to the entry of the legal separation. [North Dakota Century Code; Volume 3A, Chapters 14-06-01 and 14-06-06].

Property Distribution:
Equitable Distribution

The applicable North Dakota law that will dictate how property and debt is to be divided upon Divorce.