North Dakota’s Residency Requirements
For both legal separation and divorce, residency requirements must first be met before action can be initiated. The plaintiff (spouse filing the complaint) must have been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing the petition. If not, a separation or divorce may still 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.
Legal Grounds for Divorce in North Dakota
The following are acceptable grounds for divorce in the state of North Dakota:
- Irreconcilable differences
- Extreme cruelty
- Willful desertion
- Willful neglect
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Felony Conviction
Legal Separation Laws
A decree of temporary or permanent legal separation may be granted in North Dakota for the same grounds that apply to a divorce case. Just like with divorce, the court may require parties to pay alimony and/or child support, as well as may handle the division of property in the event that parties cannot agree on the distribution of assets.
When a divorce is granted, property shall be equitably divided. This doesn’t necessarily mean evenly, just fairly.
Spousal support (alimony) in North Dakota is granted on a case-by-case basis and may be issued temporarily or permanently.
If the parties have minor children, then child custody arrangements will be made based on the best interests and welfare of the child. Several factors will be examined, including the parent-child relationship and the child’s wishes.
Obtaining Legal Help
There are many intricate laws governing the divorce and legal separation process in the state, and just one wrong move can lead you to forsake your rightful benefits. Hiring an experienced North Dakota divorce lawyer can help ensure your case resolves quickly and with the most favorable outcome.
Your attorney will always have your best interest in mind and will handle all the paperwork, court appearances and mediations required so small disagreements between you and your spouse do not escalate to large disputes and prolong the case.
For a confidential consultation with an acclaimed divorce attorney in North Dakota near you, browse our site and contact one of our featured legal professionals today to discuss your options in filing a case.