Property division in a divorce is often complicated. Even if you can agree on the majority of things, many couples have trouble completely dividing all their property. In those situations, the court must step in.
According to North Dakota University, the court follows the law when dividing property, which requires a fair division.
North Dakota follows the rule of equitable division. While it may seem like that means equally dividing things, it does not. The underlying criteria is a fair division, and the meaning of fair is really left up to the judge.
Marital and separate property
The judge will consider whether the property belongs to both of you or just one of you. In general, if you can prove you obtained property before your marriage, inherited it or received it as a gift, then the court will rule it separate. Anything obtained or maintained during the marriage will fall under marital property and is subject to division.
When dividing property, the judge will consider the situations of both spouses. He or she will look at your ages, other property you own, the lifestyle you had during the marriage and each of your needs. He or she will also think about your earning capacity after the marriage is over. The judge will want an idea of how to make things fair so neither of you ends up with more than the other.
The general idea of dividing property is to help you leave the marriage on equal footing. While that may not be possible in every case, the judge will work diligently to be as fair as possible when dividing property.