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Divorce in Sargent County
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Online Divorce in Sargent County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Sargent County, North Dakota, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
Divorce in Sargent County is typically fast and inexpensive if you and your spouse agree on the marriage’s key terms. But is it possible to divide assets, child custody responsibilities, and financial issues with no hassle and no contest? Thousands of our customers are evidence that it is indeed possible when divorcing spouses are well aware of their options and want to deal with their marriage’s dissolution cleanly and healthily. An uncontested divorce is a way to have it.
What are the necessary steps in an uncontested divorce? Filing the paperwork and meeting divorce requirements. If you addressed property, alimony, and custody issues (in a divorce with children), you could arrange the filing of divorce papers by yourself without a lawyer. Simply obtain the court forms required for your case, complete them, and submit them to the court. It is that easy.
Regardless of self-help centers and online resources that Sargent County provides for divorcing couples, many people prefer to have some guidance. At the same time, the court’s staff is not permitted to consult visitors and provide legal advice. Online resources, such as OnlineDivorce.com, are set up to help people like you.
If you want to be confident that you have the correct forms and complete them error-free, OnlineDivorce.com is a divorce documents preparation service you can trust. Here you get state-specific divorce forms completed based on the exact details of your case, information on North Dakota Family Law, and a thorough guide on how and where to file for a divorce. We ensure you get a packet of court-approved printable forms by asking you family-related questions on the website. Our detailed written instructions will walk you through the steps of completing and filing the paperwork.
The possibility to complete the forms online significantly facilitates the initiation of divorce for many people. Not only do you save money on legal representation by having a Do-It-Yourself divorce, but also you complete documents at your own pace in your comfort zone. Start your own divorce the easiest way and file the paperwork in Sargent County, ND with Online.Divorce.com.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Sargent County
One of divorce requirements for the petitioner (the spouse who files a Petition for Divorce) is to state a cause, or legal ground, for divorce. In Sargent County, ND, causes include adultery, extreme cruelty, willful desertion, willful neglect, abuse of alcohol or controlled substances, the conviction of a felony, and irreconcilable differences. The specific definitions for these clauses can be found in N.D. Cent. Code § 14-05-03 - Causes for divorce.
However, note that all but the last ground for divorce must be proven to the court. For example, desertion and neglect have time requirements, and if either lasted less than a year, it is not substantiated for the court.
The last cause – irreconcilable differences – is a no-fault ground used in uncontested cases. It is sufficient to cite that you cannot continue your marriage any longer, and the court accepts it as a valid ground.
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In a divorce proceeding in Sargent County, the guardianship (custody) over a child must be determined either by the parents or by the court. Guardianship refers to physical custody – who will be the child’s primary caregiver and where the child will reside – and legal custody – who will make decisions regarding education, religion, medical care, etc. for the child. In Sargent County, parents who pursue an uncontested divorce, have the full right to resolve child custody between themselves and submit a parenting plan to the court.
If a divorce is contested and parents cannot agree on child custody, the court issues temporary custody orders. Upon studying the case materials, the judge gives an award of custody either to a single parent (sole custody) or to both parents (joint custody). Together with other US states, North Dakota bases child custody decisions on the child’s best interests (See N.D. Cent. Code § 14-09-06.2). For each particular case in Sargent County, the judge considers multiple factors to determine child custody, without particularly favoring joint custody. Whether the court awards joint or sole custody entirely depends on the particularities of each case.
In particular, the court will consider:
how each parent can ensure the child gets his or her basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and a safe environment) and emotional needs (the parent provides nurture, love, affection, and guidance) covered;
whether each parent is healthy physically and mentally enough and able to fulfill the child’s developmental needs now and in the future;
the sufficiency and stability of each parent's home environment, the impact of extended family, the length of time the child has lived in each parent's home, and the desirability of maintaining continuity in the child's home and community.
In Sargent County, courts favor cooperation between parents. For a child’s best interests, it is highly beneficial if each parent encourages a close connection between the other parent and the child. Also considered is the relationship with other family members.
The North Dakota court system does not mandate all divorcing parents to enroll in parenting education. However, a judge in Sargent County has the right to order a divorcing couple to take a parenting class. In such a case, a Certification of Completion is part of divorce paperwork to be filed with the court before the divorce’s finalization.
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Rules for child support in Sargent County
Child support is the financial aid that parents are supposed to pay to cover the costs associated with the child’s food, housing, clothes, and healthcare needs. The provisions of N.D. Cent. Code §. 14-09-08 point out that the court may request such maintenance from either or both parents during divorce.
In Sargent County, parents calculate the amount of child support in the submitted parenting plan, or the court does it for them using the percentage of income formula. The percentage of income method is a state-determined percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income paid to the custodial parent. This percentage is adjusted following the number of children requiring support.
Once the amount of child support is determined, other deviation factors are considered. In North Dakota, extraordinary medical costs and college education are deviation factors and can be added, whereas childcare is not. Every three years, the court may reconsider child support orders upon a parent’s request.
Child support is paid until the child reaches 18. If the child gets married or otherwise gets legally emancipated by joining the Military, child support payments terminate automatically.
Although child support obligations can be modified and adjusted, get an estimation of how much you may pay in North Dakota.
In case child support is not paid, Sargent County offers enforcement options through the state child support agency. For more information, visit the North Dakota Child Support Enforcement website.
Rules for spousal support in Sargent County
In Sargent County, ND, a lower-income spouse may request spousal support from a higher-earning spouse, appealing to a need to continue education, find a good job, or find another option to become self-reliant (See N.D. Cent. Code § 14-05-24.1). Depending on the amount and duration of required training or education, the court may order temporary, short-, or long-term spousal support. Permanent support is awarded in rare cases and only if the marriage was lengthy.
When North Dakota courts determine spousal support obligations, they do not have a statutory list of factors. In Sargent County, each judge uses his or her discretion to figure out whether spousal support should be awarded in each particular case and the duration and the number of spousal support payments in case of positive determination.
However, judges typically look at each spouse’s sources and amount of income, standards of living, and custodial status. A marital fault may be considered as well in cases of at-fault divorce. As for uncontested divorces, they usually cannot request “punitive” alimony.
Spousal support cannot be paid past the receiving spouse’s new marriage. According to N.D. Cent. Code § 14-05-24.1, “Immediately upon remarriage, the spouse receiving support shall provide notice of the remarriage to the payor spouse at the last known address of the payor spouse.” Similarly, if the receiving spouse started a new relationship, including cohabitation, spousal support will be terminated immediately.
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Property division in Sargent County
Unless otherwise required by federal law for a specific property, North Dakota pursues “an equitable distribution of the parties’ property and debts” in a divorce process (See N.D. Cent. Code § 14-05-24). Typically, courts in Sargent County do not consider separate assets as part of marital assets. In some cases, though, some separate assets may be qualified as “partial community property” due to significant contributions by the other spouse or co-mingling of assets. Furthermore, it is common for courts in ND to include all assets and debts in the marital property, regardless of their origin.
Following principles of equitable distributions, North Dakota courts factor in each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, property, and earning ability. As a result, it is common to see in the distribution of property approximately 1/3 of marital property allocated to the lower-income spouse and 2/3 to the higher-earning spouse.
Although North Dakota has a list of statutory factors to divide marital property in an uncontested divorce, a court in Sargent County does not consider a marital fault. There are no legal grounds to view either spouse’s non-monetary contributions in ND.
Under North Dakota law, Social Security benefits and government pensions are divided according to N.D. Cent. Code § 14-05-24, stating: “If one party to the divorce is covered by the civil service retirement system or other government pension system in lieu of social security and is not entitled to receive full social security benefits and the other party is a social security recipient, in making an equitable distribution award, the court shall compute what the present value of the social security benefits would have been to the party with the government pension during the covered period and subtract that amount from the value of the government pension to determine the government pension's marital portion.”
To make the distribution of property just and fair, spouses must disclose their financial information. Failure to honestly do so will result in a post-judgment proceeding (See N.D. Cent. Code § 14-05-24).
Mediation support in Sargent County
In the case of uncontested divorces, courts in North Dacota do not order mediation. If parents contest child custody and child support or if spouses cannot settle property division, they can voluntarily hire a mediator as a neutral third party. Mediation is an option to resolve contested issues before going to court and saving some legal fees. Legal representation usually requires one attorney per spouse, whereas a mediator can handle a divorce case with two spouses.
How to file for divorce in Sargent County | Step-by-Step
Meet filing residency requirements for a DIY divorce. (1) If you want to represent yourself in the court in Sargent County, you and your spouse must agree on all terms of the divorce before filing. In such a case, North Dakota allows you to use the forms for either an uncontested divorce (your divorce settlement agreement is ready in writing) or for a summary divorce (net assets less than $50,000): (2) The plaintiff (the spouse initiating divorce) must have resided in the state for six months before filing. If the plaintiff does not meet the residency requirements, they can be granted a divorce as soon as the 6-month period is over (See N.D. Cent. Code § 14-05-17).
Find out where to file and complete the court forms. Obtain the divorce forms by physically coming to the District Court in the county where either you or your spouse live or use state-specific printable forms from OnlineDivorce.com. If it is possible, complete the forms on the computer. If you do it in handwriting, write legibly. You and your spouse must notarize some forms. Sign them in the presence of a notary. Keep all documents at least two copies.
File the court forms. When you bring your divorce paperwork to the District Court in Sargent County, you should do three things: (1) give the packet of your documents to the court’s clerk who stamps them, provides a case number, and files them with the court; (2) next, pay a filing fee of $80. If it’s unaffordable for you, ask the court’s clerk for a Petition for Waiver of Fees. You will also complete a Financial Affidavit and Order Waiving Filing Fees. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you will be exempt from all court fees until your divorce is finalized; (3) take one copy stamped by the court’s clerk to serve on your spouse.
Think how to serve the spouse. A divorce process cannot proceed without service of process, which means that the plaintiff must inform the defendant of divorce proceedings. However, in uncontested divorces, the defendant typically participates in a divorce process from early on. The defendant may then agree to accept service, and the plaintiff can ‘serve’ the divorce paperwork either personally or via the postal service. Upon receiving the documents, the defendant fills out an Acceptance/Admission of Service and hands it over to the plaintiff to file with the court. Among other serving methods is hiring a process server or a sheriff who will provide the plaintiff with an Affidavit of Proof.
Wait for your divorce to finalize. North Dakota has no mandatory waiting period for divorce proceedings. If spouses have no children together, they may not even be scheduled for a hearing. Once the judge’s workload permits, he or she will review your divorce case and approve if all the forms are in order. If a hearing is needed, or if the couple has minor children, the court will schedule a hearing and inform the plaintiff with a letter with a hearing date and a list of additional forms to complete.
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Filing fees for divorce in Sargent County
In Sargent County, the fee for filing a divorce case in a district court will cost the plaintiff $80. Also, there are some additional fees for filing petitions and motions. For example, obtaining a set of Simple Divorce forms will cost you $5 per set, whereas a Waiver of Fees will cost $2 per set.
Some plaintiffs may apply for a fee waiver. Request the court’s clerk for a Petition for Waiver of Fees. Upon reviewing your Financial Affidavit, a judge or a clerk will decide whether you can be exempted from paying filing fees for your divorce case duration.
How long will it take?
An uncontested divorce is the fastest way to end one’s marriage. The non-litigated divorce timeline in Sargent County is pretty straight-forward yet not the quickest one. Even though there is no mandatory waiting period in North Dakota, divorce is typically finalized within 1 to 3 months. If both parties agree to the terms of their divorce, the length of divorce process should be unhampered by dispute and repetitive hearings. No hearing may be required for an uncontested divorce if a couple has no minor children or expensive property. As soon as the judge finds time in his or her busy schedule to review the paperwork and finds it accurate and error-free and all terms of the divorce fair and equitable, a divorce is granted.
Filing for divorce in Sargent County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Sargent County? The national average price of divorce is about $15,000 per person. However, a divorcing couple can have a relatively cheap dissolution of marriage by agreeing to have an uncontested divorce and minimizing legal fees through a DIY divorce. In Sargent County, North Dakota, self-representation will cost you $80 for filing fees and any additional costs in expert fees. Every expert that you hire to handle standard divorce-related issues is going to increase the cost of divorce. If you want to split a marital home, you will need to consult an appraiser to determine its current market value and a financial planner to decide what to do with it. If you and your spouse cannot agree on who the child will live with and how you will share parenting time, you may want to hire a mediator. Support issues, pension division, allocation of debts, etc., these are all issues divorcing spouses usually have to fork over some cash to; otherwise, they will be at a disadvantage.
How to file for divorce in Sargent County without a lawyer? North Dakota has court forms for summary divorce and uncontested divorce when the parties 100% agree with the terms. If your divorce case is not that complex that you can handle it on your own, use self-help resources and other useful information available to self-litigants. The State of North Dakota Courts website has a Family Law section with information for pro se litigants on Divorce. OnlineDivorce.com can assist in preparing divorce documents in DIY divorces.
What are the required forms for an uncontested divorce in Sargent County? Depending on whether a couple has minor children together, property valued more than $50,000 or contested issues; a divorce packet may include more or fewer forms. Here is a list of forms commonly used in almost all divorce cases in Sargent County, ND:
Property and Debt Listing
Admission of Service
Affidavit of Proof for Stipulated Judgment
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment
Can I file for legal separation in Sargent County, ND? Yes. For a legal separation, Sargent County has a similar process to divorce, including residency requirements and legally binding stipulated agreement.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? Like many other US states, North Dakota no longer has a waiting period before allowing divorced people to marry again.
Divorce in Sargent County online
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We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
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We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
Divorce Courts in Sargent County, North Dakota
Sargent County District Court
John E. Greenwood, Bradley Cruff, James D. Hovey, Thomas E. Merrick, Daniel D. Narum, Jerod Tufte , Jay Schmitz
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
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