A brief guide to North Dakota family law
There are many different circumstances under which you may need to turn to the legal system in order to resolve an issue related to your domestic life. One common reason people may need to familiarize themselves with North Dakota family laws is if they are seeking a divorce from their partner. It is a common misapprehension that a lawyer is required in order to successfully separate from a spouse. However, North Dakota family law allows for the divorce process to be completed without the assistance of an attorney. Doing so will require two spouses to cooperate in drafting a separation agreement detailing their approach to issues such as:
• Alimony payments
• Child custody arrangements
• Child support payments
• Division of mutually owned property
A document can be created that is in compliance with all North Dakota family laws by using a generic template found online as a starting point. If a judge orders part or all of this agreement to be rewritten, they will provide specific instructions which can be followed without the assistance of a lawyer.
In cases where two spouses are in dispute over an issue related to minor children, North Dakota family law allows a judge to order them to attempt mediation sessions. The goal of these guided discussions is to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement. Should mediation fail to result in a separation agreement, North Dakota family laws forbid either spouse from hiring a lawyer who has acted as a mediator from representing them in family court.
Another situation in which you may need to familiarize yourself with the legal system occurs if you are creating a will. While North Dakota family law does not require you to consult with a lawyer to create a legally binding document, you risk using language that can be open to multiple interpretations by doing so. In such cases, your will may be challenged in probate court after your death. A lawyer can help you ensure that your wishes are respected by making sure all your language is clear and in compliance with all North Dakota family laws.
Single individuals or couples who wish to adopt a child will need to be aware of the complications involved in this process. Under North Dakota family law, you are not allowed to adopt a child until you have undergone the "home-study" process. This is a procedure which evaluates your fiscal and psychological fitness to look after a minor child. North Dakota family laws will require you to provide financial records and submit to a series of interviews. A social worker will ask you about your upbringing, views on parenting, and any other relevant factor.
Aside from the expense of providing copies of your medical and financial records, North Dakota family law will not charge you for the cost of this process. In some cases, you may be eligible for financial aid. North Dakota family laws include tax credits for people who adopt "special needs" children who are less likely to find a home, such as those over the age of eight.