The North Dakota family courts issue an assortment of different orders at the end of divorce proceedings. There may be support orders for minor children and dependent spouses. There could be custody orders allocating both time with children and decision-making authority.
Finally, there will be a property division order that addresses who will keep what assets and who is responsible for which marital debts. Sometimes, changes in personal circumstances justify going back to court to revise custody orders or support orders. However, property division orders are usually final. In other words, they are not subject to change regardless of how unhappy someone is with the outcome or how much their situation changes after divorce.
Still, there is one very specific scenario in which North Dakota law allows for someone to request a review and update of the property division order from a divorce.
When can the courts review a property division order?
For a judge to go back over the property division decree finalized during a divorce, there would need to be a very specific situation. North Dakota state law specifically allows for the revision of a property division order if someone engaged in fraud during the prior property division proceedings.
Both spouses have the right of discovery during a divorce. They will need to disclose their assets to one another and the courts via a comprehensive inventory of their assets and financial obligations. It would be impossible for people to negotiate a fair settlement or demand an equitable share of marital assets if they do not know the full scope of the marital estate and the value of the assets it contains.
Provided that one spouse has uncovered hidden assets that the other did not include when disclosing their property, they may have grounds to ask the courts to review and revise the property division decree. Judges will often penalize a spouse who intentionally hides their resources from their spouse and the courts. In some cases, the spouse who hid the resources will lose out on those assets entirely. Other times, they may lose a substantial portion of their value as a penalty for their prior misconduct.
For most people recovering after a divorce, accepting their property division settlement gracefully is the best move. But, recognizing when reviewing the matter may be possible could benefit those negatively impacted by incomplete disclosures and hidden assets.