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North Dakota Marital Property Laws

What we call "marital property" -- goods obtained during the course of a marriage -- is only relevant when the two parties decide to get divorced. Some items, such as inheritances, personal gifts, and property acquired with separate assets, are not considered marital property.

State marital property laws establish a framework for how property is handled in a divorce proceeding. While some states continue to use the "community property" rule that generally splits property 50/50, a growing number of states is using the "equitable distribution" approach, which considers what each party needs based on their earning potential and other factors.

North Dakota Marital Property Laws at a Glance

The state of North Dakota uses an equitable distribution approach to separating marital property in the event of a divorce. But if the parties reach a reasonably fair agreement on their own, the court typically will grant that agreement.

See the following chart for more details about North Dakota marital property laws (including the factors considered by family courts) and FindLaw's Divorce and Property section for additional articles and helpful resources.

Relevant Code Section 14-05-24. Division of property and debts.
Community Property Recognized? No
Division of Property and Debts
  1. When a divorce is granted, the court shall make an equitable distribution of the property and debts of the parties.
  2. 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 in order to determine the government pension's marital portion.
  3. The court may redistribute property and debts in a postjudgment proceeding if a party has failed to disclose property and debts as required by rules adopted by the Supreme Court or the party fails to comply with the terms of a court order distributing property and debts.
Dower And Curtesy Dower and curtesy abolished (§14-07-09)

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, most often through the enactment of newly signed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions and other means. You also may want to contact a North Dakota divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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North Dakota Marital Property Laws: Related Resources

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