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District of Columbia Divorce Laws
District of Columbia Residency Requirements
In order to file for a divorce in District of Columbia, you or your spouse must meet the strict residency requirements. These requirements permit the court to have jurisdiction of your case, resulting in allowing you to use their judicial system. These requirements are only a concern for spouses who have recently relocated or plan to relocate in the near future. They are as follows: Either spouse must be a resident for at least 6 months prior to filing for a divorce. All active military members that are stationed in Washington D.C. are considered a residents as long as they have been stationed for at least 6 months. (District of Columbia Code - Title 16 - Chapter 9 - Sections: 902)
District of Columbia Divorce Grounds:
(1) Mutual voluntary separation without cohabitation for 6 months; (2) living separate and apart without cohabitation for 1 year. "Living separate and apart" may be accomplished under the same roof, if the spouses do not share bed or food. (District of Columbia Code - Title 16 - Chapter 9 - Sections: 904, 905, 906)
District of Columbia Property and Debt Division
If the parties have not stipulated to a property settlement, the court will distinguish what property is separate and what is marital. Separate property includes, but is not limited to, any property acquired prior to the marriage, gifts, and inheritances. Any property other than separate property will be divided equitably by the court after considering the following factors: (a) the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker; (b) the length of the marriage; (c) the occupations of each spouse; (d) the vocational skills of the spouses; (e) the employability of the spouses; (f) the estate, liabilities, and needs of each spouse and the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income; (g) the separate property and debts of the spouses; (h) any prior marriages; (i) whether the property award is instead of or in addition to alimony; (j) any custodial provisions for the children; (k) the age and health of the spouses; and (l) the amount and sources of income of the spouses. (District of Columbia Code - Title 16 - Chapter 9 - Sections: 910)
District of Columbia Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony:
The court may, at its discretion, may order temporary or permanent alimony during a divorce proceeding if it feels it is appropriate. In making such an award, the court will consider a number of economic factors, but marital fault is not a consideration. (District of Columbia Code - Title 16 - Chapter 9 - Sections: 911, 912)
District of Columbia Custody and Visitation:
If the parents are in dispute regarding the custody of the children, the court will make the custody award with the best interest of the children at the forefront of the decision. Each parent is given equal consideration by considering the following factors: (1) the child's wishes, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity; (2) the wishes of the parents; (3) the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community; (4) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; (5) the relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and other significant family members; (6) the willingness of the parents to share custody; (7) the prior involvement of the parent in the child's life; (8) the geographical proximity of the parents; (9) the sincerity of the parent's request; (10) the age and number of children; (11) the demands of parental employment; (12) the impact on any welfare benefits; (13) any evidence of spousal or child abuse; (14) the capacity of the parents to communicate and reach shared decisions affecting the child's welfare; (15) the potential disruption of the child's social and school life; and (16) the parent's ability to financially support a joint custody arrangement. There is a rebuttable presumption that joint interest is in the best interests of the child unless child abuse, neglect, parental kidnapping or other intrafamily violence has occurred. The court may order the parents to submit a written parenting plan for custody. (District of Columbia Code - Title 16 - Chapter 9 - Sections: 911, 914)
District of Columbia Child Support:
The court will determine the support amount according to the current child support guidelines that are in place. If the court finds that the calculated amount is not appropriate form a specific case, it shall deviate from that amount by considering the following deviation factors: (1) the child's needs are exceptional; (2) the non-custodial parent's income is substantially less than the custodial parent's income; (3) a property settlement between the parents provides resources for the child above the minimum support requirements; (4) the non-custodial parent provides support for other dependents and the guideline amounts would cause hardship; (5) the non-custodial parent needs a temporary reduction [of no longer than 12 months] in support payments to repay a substantial debt; (6) the custodial parent provides medical insurance coverage; (7) the custodial parent receives child support payments for other children and the custodial parent's household income is substantially greater than that of the non-custodial parent; and (8) any other extraordinary factors. Child support may be ordered to be paid through the Clerk of the Superior Court. (District of Columbia Code - Title 16 - Chapter 9 - Sections: 911, 916)
District of Columbia Common Questions
How Do I Know if I Should File in District of Columbia?
One would typically file for divorce in the state in which he or she or his or her spouse resides. If you have recently moved to a new state and wish to file in that new state, you may have to establish residency prior to filing.
If you are in the military and are stationed on a base outside your residency state, you typically are able to file in that state or in your residency state.
If you are in the military and are stationed overseas, you would typically file in your home residency state.
Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Have Children?
Yes. The system and your documents will address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.
How Much Are the District of Columbia Filing and/or Court Fees?
The filing and/or court fees are not included in our fee and typically range from $50.00 to $350.00 in total depending on your location of filing and whether or not you have children. The 3StepDivorce service will typically help you yield the lowest filing fee for you because both you and your spouse are in agreement.
How Long Will the Process Take in District of Columbia?
The process takes an average of less than 1 hour to answer the required questions and generate the documents. Once you file your documents with the court according the filing procedures, the length of time will vary depending on the number of cases in front of yours. Each court has only one or just a few Judges, Masters, or Referees to review all the pending cases.
Should I File or Should My Spouse File?
As a rule of thumb, for uncontested divorces, the spouse who really wants the divorce to be finalized typically does the filing.
Where and How Do I File My Documents?
The documents are filed at your local county courthouse in the family law or domestic relations division or department. Inside your account you will receive step-by-step filing procedures.
Can I Mail or Fax My Documents to the Clerk?
Many courts do permit you to mail and/or fax the documents. This will vary from county to county and state to state, so it will be best to check with the clerk at the courthouse when you are ready to file.
Do I Have to Go to Court in District of Columbia?
Depending on your state and your situation, you may or may not have to attend a short hearing. Most of the time when a hearing is required, it only lasts 10-15 minutes and only the filing spouse must attend. The hearing is where you will be granted your divorce and the judge will sign the final judgment or decree.
Do I Have to Also Hire a Lawyer?
3StepDivorce is designed for you to do your own uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer. You will be acting as your own lawyer and filing for your own divorce. Should you need or desire legal advice or should your divorce become contested, we do suggest you hire the services of a lawyer.
Will My Name Also Be Changed?
The wife has the option to change her name back to her former or maiden name through the 3StepDivorce solution.
When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in District of Columbia?
The divorce is typically finalized when the Judge signs the final judgment or decree. We give a window of 30-90 days from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse and any mandatory waiting periods.
Washington D.C. Divorce Forms
District of Columbia Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Alaska divorce forms for an uncontested divorce. Our goal is to give you full control and make "doing your own divorce", fast, easy, and affordable.District of Columbia Divorce Forms List
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All Your Completed Washington D.C. Divorce Forms
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Works With or Without Children
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This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in Washington D.C.. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorceTM you will complete and instantly print your divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement), and step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy.
3StepDivorceTM is a premium online divorce solution provided by Divorce Source, Inc., the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited divorce resource since 1997.
|Provided by Divorce Source (online since 1997) Over 500,000 forms processed.||Have your completed documents within 1 hour (with or without children)||Instantly print your documents (free delivery by US Priority Mail is also available).||Instantly make changes (gives you full control, the way it should be!)||All required divorce documents ready for signing.|
|Step-by-Step filing procedures (who, what, where & when)||Court approval or your money back (100% guaranteed).||Unlimited toll free phone and email product support.||Online Divorce Organizer & 40+ Self-Help Divorce eBooks||Free Online Negotiation Tool (just in case you can't agree!)|