Washington D.C./District of Columbia Divorce Laws
Washington D.C. Residency Requirement
According to the Washington D.C. Divorce Laws and Washington D.C. Divorce Guidelines, one of the spouses must have been a resident of Washington D.C. for 6 months before filing for divorce
Washington D.C. Grounds for Divorce
Grounds for divorce:
(1) Mutual voluntary separation without cohabitation for 6 months
(2) Living separate and apart without cohabitation for 1 year
Process to file for Divorce in Washington D.C.
There are only three basic procedural steps to a divorce:
- File Washington D.C. Divorce Papers (Washington D.C. Divorce Forms)
- Notify Spouse of your filing for divorce in Washington D.C.
- Attend your Washington D.C. divorce hearing
Washington D.C. Child Custody
Simple Definitions: (source: Washington D.C. divorce guidelines and Washington D.C. divorce laws)
- Visitation is the plan the spouses have on where the children will live and when the children will see the other spouse
- Legal Custody is the decision ability of the parents in the lives of the children. Such as, where the children will attend school and which church they will go to.
- Physical Custody pertains to the place where the children will live and which parent they live with.
Washington D.C. Child Custody in a shared arrangement, in one form or another, is the preferred method of our Washington D.C. divorce customers. If a sole custody arrangement is to be considered, then there is usually a reason agreed upon by both parties that one parent is to have the children. Usually the financial status of a parent is not to be considered for allocating any parental rights and responsibilities. Shared Custody or Sole Child Custody may be awarded according to the best interests of the child.
Washington D.C. Child Support
If the parents are unable to agree to an amount of child support, there are guidelines that determine the amount of support based on the Washington D.C. Child Support Guidelines. The guideline amount is presumed to arrive at an amount of support that is in the child’s best interest. But, most divorcing spouses agree to a figure on their own, that will work just fine. Also, in most situations, -0- Child Support is OK if both spouses are working and can manage.
In an Uncontested “Agreed Divorce” or “Default Divorce” the property is divided so that both parties agree to the division. The main concern here is to agree to the property division so that it doesn’t create a fight that one party will want to go to a Washington D.C. divorce lawyer or divorce attorney to make the case into a Contested Divorce. Then you will have to incur the fees of a lawyer too.
- Debts: Most divorcing spouses set out who will pay what debts as part of their marital settlement agreement during the divorce process, and close all of their joint accounts.
- Alimony: In an Uncontested Divorce, Alimony may be awarded to either spouse for their support and maintenance after the divorce. Both parties must agree to it. Since most spouses are working, alimony (if awarded at all), is usually for a shorter period of time, and smaller amount than in the past. Alimony may be paid in a lump sum payment of money or a payment plan. Alimony is not required for a person to get divorced in Washington D.C..
If you do not know where your spouse is and cannot locate him/her, after diligent effort, you may still get a divorce in Washington D.C.. It may involve the extra expense of running a newspaper ad or something similar. We help you through the process.
Wife’s Last Name
The Wife may receive her Maiden Name back in the Divorce if she wishes. We include this name change in our service for FREE. Divorce in Washington D.C. often includes a name change.
Court Filing Fees
The Court filing fees are not included in the price of our service. To file for divorce in Washington D.C., fees must usually be paid when you file the Washington D.C. divorce forms and Washington D.C. divorce papers at your county courthouse. These fees vary between County to County, so it is best to call them and ask what the fees are in your County. Regardless of whether you are going through a divorce service, using a Washington D.C. divorce kit, using a divorce attorney (or divorce lawyer), or doing a nearly free divorce in Washington D.C., you will almost always be the one to cover the court fees which is standard procedure.