At least one of the parties filing for divorce has to have resided in the state of North Dakota for at least six (6) months prior to time of filing.
Fill Out your Forms
The following forms can be found on the North Dakota Supreme Court Website.
To start the divorce action, one spouse should complete a Summons and Complaint. The Summons and the Complaint must be served on the other spouse in one of the following methods:
- Process Server: A person not involved in the divorce action may deliver the documents to the other spouse and then sign an Affidavit that will be filed with the court.
- By Certified Mail Return Receipt Restricted Deliver: The certified mail receipt and restricted delivery documents must be filed with the court along with the Summons and Complaint. The person mailing the documents will need to complete an Affidavit of Service by Certified Mail.
- Personal Delivery: If the other spouse is willing to admit service the party starting the action can deliver the papers to the other spouse and have them execute an Admission of Service that can be filed with the Court.
Once service is admitted the spouse served (called the Defendant) has 20 days or 35 days (if he or she resides out of state) to file an Answer. It is not necessary for an Answer to be filed if both parties are in agreement and intend to immediately file a Divorce Settlement Agreement.
If the parties agree on the terms of their divorce, they should complete the Divorce Settlement Agreement using Rocket Lawyer's easy interview process. This agreement can then be filed with the Court.
The Plaintiff (person starting the action) should complete an Affidavit of Proof in order to prevent being required to appear before a judge.
Finally, the parties should complete a Joint Property and Debt Listing wherein they list all items of property and all debts they own either individually or jointly and their agreed upon value. Make sure that the list of assets and debts listed here match those entered in the Divorce Settlement Agreement.
Make Copies of your Forms
Once you have filled out the appropriate forms, make at least two copies of each. One set will be filed with your Court Clerk's Office, and one should be kept for your records.
Bring your Completed Forms to your Court Clerk's Office and Pay the Fee
To file the action with the County Clerk of Court, the Court charges a filing fee of $80, which must be paid at the time of filing. If you cannot afford the filing fee you can obtain a Petition for Order Waiving Fees from the County Clerk of Court.
The Clerk will notify you if a hearing is required. If a hearing is required the Clerk will set a date and time for your hearing. Both parties should be present at the hearing. If the Judge approves the Divorce Settlement Agreement, a Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment will be signed and the Court will mail a Judgment and Decree to you.
After you are notified that the divorce is final, you will need to obtain a certified copy of the Decree of Divorce from the County Clerk of Court to finalize all of the terms of the divorce. A certified copy of the decree costs $10.
Most financial institutions, government agencies and employers require a certified copy of the Divorce Decree before they will update information on important accounts and files.
You can use Rocket Lawyer to Find a Lawyer near you who can provide you with further assistance in completing your divorce.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.