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Legal Information: North Dakota


Laws current as of
December 28, 2023

Do I need a lawyer?

A lawyer is not necessary to get a divorce in North Dakota, but it is almost always better to have one if you can.

If you are asking for custody, child support, financial support for yourself, or a share of the marital property, you may want to hire a lawyer because there may be things you ought to get in a divorce that you may not have thought you could ask for.  A lawyer can also help you protect money or property that is yours, such as property you had before the marriage or property you inherited during the marriage.

It is important that you find out if your spouse has a pension, retirement account, insurance, or other significant property before you decide whether to file your own divorce.  If you do not ask for these things in the divorce, you may wind up giving them up forever.

The judge will not give you a lawyer in divorce cases.  If you need a lawyer, you will have to hire one or qualify for legal help at a legal services or legal aid organization.  Please see our ND Finding a Lawyer page for a list of legal resources.

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.