In a recent study, Fargo earned the distinction of being listed as one of the 10 least stressed cities in the United States. The study, by market research organization Wallethub, examined indicators of mental and physical health, as well as personal financial issues and family stress.
To find the rate of family stress, researchers looked at each city’s divorce rate. This, no doubt, helped Fargo’s ranking on the stress scale. North Dakota has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, according to the U.S. Census. This could be why Bismarck was not far behind Fargo on Wallethub’s list.
Commentators have different explanations about why North Dakota’s divorce rate is so low compared to its neighbors. Some point out our state’s pro-marriage culture as a factor, but even local boosters must admit that there’s something odd going on when a close neighbor like Minnesota has a much higher rate, and when South Dakota has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation.
Whatever the possible explanations for the state’s stress ranking and divorce rate, divorce is still a highly stressful experience for North Dakotans going through it.
North Dakota law recognizes two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested. Contested divorce is for cases where the spouses cannot agree on all the issues, or where one spouse cannot be found. More common and much easier is uncontested divorce, where the parties agree on all the issues.
Take a minute to think about that: To get an uncontested divorce, you must agree on 100% of the issues in your divorce. This means you and your ex must reach an agreement on how to divide all your assets and debts. If you have young children, you must reach agreement on how to divide your parenting responsibilities.
So, you may be living in low-stress, low-divorce-rate Fargo, but all of this is more than enough stress for anyone. If you are beginning the process of divorce, seek out help from an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and fight for your best interests and those of your children.