North Dakota Family Law

North Dakota laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute North Dakota Title 14 Chapter 05 - Divorce
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. Fault based and no-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Equitable Distribution
a. Methods of apportionment The court takes into consideration all property and debts of the parties [14-05-24]
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA Not applicable
b. Property distribution factors Broad discretion of the court [14-05-24]
4. Legal separation? Yes, can be temporary or permanent for any cause in which a divorce can be decreed [14-05-03.1], [14-05-28]
a. Waiting period/Separation period No, can be for any cause in which a divorce can be decreed [14-05-03.1], [14-05-28]
5. Is mediation required No, but may be court ordered or requested by parties at parties' own expense [14-09.1]
6. Forms used North Dakota Family Law Forms (several still pending)
7. Alimony guidelines and factors General Guidelines [14-05-24.1]
Alimony formula Guidelines for determination [14-05-24.1]
a. Types Temporary support, can be subject to receiving spouse remarrying or cohabitating for 1 year or more [14-05-24.1]
b. Term Limits At the discretion of the court [14-05-24.1]
Cohabitation Terminated upon remarriage or cohabitation [14-05-24.1]
c. Imputing income General ability of court to assign support [14-5-24.1]
d. Change in circumstances The court may modify its spousal support orders [14-05-24.1(1)]
e. Ceases on retirement At the discretion of the court [14-05-24.1]
Impute income on early retirement
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income Broad definition using Ruff-Fisher model to determine support. Ruff v. Ruff, 52 NW 2d 107 - ND: Supreme Court 1952; Fischer v. Fischer, 139 NW 2d 845 - ND: Supreme Court 1966.
8. Child support factors and guidelines North Dakota Dept. of Human Services - Child Support Division
9. Child support calculator North Dakota Dept. of Human Services - Child Support Division
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed? Yes. [14-09-09.34]
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Trial
b. Goodwill divisibility All goodwill is divisible - Nastrom v. Nastrom, 262 N.W.2d 487 (N.D. 1978)
c. Standard of value Fair Market Value - Heggen v. Heggen, 452 N.W.2d 96, 99 (N.D. 1990); Fair Value - In Fisher v. Fisher, 568 N.W.2d 728, 732-33 (N.D. 1997).
d. Discounts Discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability. Adams v. Adams, 2015 ND 112 - ND: Supreme Court 2015.
e. Shareholder/partner agreements The value given to marital property by the courts depends on the evidence presented by the parties. Fox v. Fox, 626 NW 2d 660 - ND: Supreme Court 2001
 12. Double dip  Wold v Wold 1/23/08
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts  
 c. Child support Can be considered (e.g. capital gain from ED asset). Berge v. Berge, 2006 ND 46 - ND: Supreme Court 2006
 13. Key cases  
 14. Premarital agreements  "Enforced, with numerous exceptions in which the court can nullify an agreement's terms or in whole [14-03.2-08].  Parties to a premarital
agreement may contract with respect to the modification or elimination of spousal support ND ST 14-03.1-03"
 15. Common law  No


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