North Dakota Uncontested Divorce

This information is an overview of the uncontested North Dakota divorce filing process and a summary of the divorce papers that are typically filed with the family law or domestic relations clerk. This overview is not intended to be an exact step-by-step guide for those "do it yourself divorce" filers, due to the fact that many cases are unique and the overview presented here is often not the only method of obtaining an uncontested divorce in North Dakota.

The spouse who files for divorce must be a resident of North Dakota for at least six months. If the Defendant is a resident of North Dakota, the action must be filed in the county of his or her residence. If the Defendant is not a resident, the action may be filed in any county designated by the Plaintiff.

Grounds for divorce are No-Fault, which means irreconcilable differences, and Fault, including 1) adultery, 2) conviction of a felony, 3) willful desertion, 4) cruel and inhuman treatment, 6) willful neglect and 7) alcohol and drug abuse.

The party filing the action is called the Plaintiff; the party responding is called the Defendant. Actions are brought in the District Court, which is the county court.

Legal separations are permitted for the same grounds as fault divorce and with the same residency requirements for the Plaintiff.

North Dakota does not have a summary divorce, but offers a simplified dissolution when:

> both the husband and wife agree on all issues;

> neither have minor children, nor is the wife pregnant or expecting;

> one of the spouses has lived in the state for six months;

> the pending divorce is the only legal action pending between the spouses.

To file for a divorce using this routine, the Plaintiff must prepare the following forms:

> A Summons, which gives the Defendant 20 days to file an answer and enjoins both spouses from dissipating assets, harassing each other and removing any children from the state;

> A Complaint, which stipulates that they meet the four above conditions and lists irreconcilable differences as the grounds for divorce;

> A Verification, which certifies the truth of the Complaint and must be notarized;

> A Settlement Agreement, which stipulates the terms and conditions of the division and distribution of the marital estate;

> An Admission of Service, by which the Defendant admits receipt and acceptance of the Summons and Complaint;

> An Affidavit of Proof for Stipulated Judgment, which recapitulates the Complaint and incorporates the terms of the Settlement Agreement into the Courtís Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order of Judgment;

> Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order of Judgment, which is the courtís finding and conclusions about the case and orders the divorce;

> Judgment [Redacted], which contains personal information that is not included in the final Judgment.

> Judgment, which contains the same information in the Judgment [Redacted] and ends the marriage.

The Summons must be filed even when the spouses agree to divorce.