The process for filing for divorce in North Dakota is the same regardless of whether you hire an attorney to represent you or you represent yourself. If you choose to handle your own divorce case, the forms below can help.
First, you must meet the residency requirements to file for divorce in North Dakota. The law requires that the Plaintiff, the person filing the divorce complaint, must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months prior to filing. If you meet this requirement then you can file at any time. If not, you can still prepare the paperwork, then wait until the six months have passed to file.
The complaint is the document that begins the divorce. It needs to be filed in the district court for your county of residence. You must include certain information that the court requires, including, the applicable grounds for which a divorce can be granted. In North Dakota, divorce can be granted due to irreconcilable differences, adultery, extreme cruelty, willful desertion, willful neglect, abuse of alcohol or controlled substances and conviction of a felony. The complaint needs to be filed with the District Court clerk in the county in which you live. The clerk will assign a case number and open your case.
You are required to formally serve your spouse, the Defendant, with a copy of the divorce complaint and notify the court when that has been done. A court hearing will be scheduled shortly after to determine if a divorce should be granted and address any issues that can not be agreed upon, such as the distribution of assets and debts, alimony or child custody. After the divorce is granted, the judge will rule on any disputed issues.
For more information about the divorce laws in North Dakota, see Chapter 14-05 of the North Dakota Legal Code.
Downloadable PDF Forms: (Collected from North Dakota Supreme Court Website)