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Washington DC Divorce Information

The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of divorce in the State of Washington, DC.

You can get more specific information regarding Washington, DC divorce laws using the links provided to Washington, DC divorce laws or at your local library.

This information is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking any action you should seek the advice of an attorney familiar with the laws in the state in which you will be seeking a divorce.

Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.

Washington DC Divorce Resources

Directory of Washington, DC divorce attorneys and lawyers

Directory of Washington, DC mediators

Directory of Washington, DC divorce service providers

Frequently asked Washington, DC divorce questions

Washington, DC child support calculator

Washington, DC child support enforcement

Residency Requirements 6 months
Where to File One of the spouses must have been a resident of Washington D.C. for 6 months immediately prior to filing for divorce. Military personnel are considered residents if they have been stationed in Washington D.C. for 6 months.
Grounds for Divorce Adultery
Bigamy ( grounds for annulment )
Fraud, Force or Duress ( grounds for annulment )
Insanity ( grounds for annulment )
Mental and or Physical Cruelty
Living Separate and Apart
Voluntary or required mediation No
Voluntary or recommended CounselingYes
Property Distribution The District of Columbia is an "equitable distribution" state. The court has full discretion to divide the real estate and all marital property, which includes pension benefits Any inheritance or gifts received prior or during the marriage is not considered for distribution. A portion of the property may be set aside for child support. The following factors are generally considered: age and health, length of marriage, vocational skills, occupations, contributions in acquisitions, employability of spouses, and custody. Marital conduct is not a consideration in the division of any property
Child Custody Custody is awarded with the best interests of the child or children in mind, without consideration of sexual orientation. The following factors are generally considered: the age of the child, the wishes of the parents, the child's ability to adjust to a new environment., and the relationship each parent has with the child.

Uniform Child Custody Act: 1983
Is Joint Custody awarded? NO
Do Grandparents Have the Right to Visitation? NO
Are Child's Wishes Considered? YES
Child Support Either parent may be required to provide the support of maintenance, insurance, and education of the child. There are specific guidelines to be followed, unless when proven to be unjust. The following factors are generally considered: a child's need for contact with both parents, the joint responsibilities for the welfare of the child, the financial resources, cost of day care, and the standard of living the child would have otherwise enjoyed had not the divorce taken place.
Spousal Support Support can be awarded to either spouse. Past marital actions are considered. Employment possibilities of the spouses tend to cause the greatest influence on the decision. Living conditions similar to those when marriage existed is attempted to be restored, but a lot of factors play a significant role

This information has been compiled directly from the most recently available statutes online for each state. Every effort has been made to assure that this information is correct and complete. Be aware that laws frequently change. Do not take any action based on this information without first consulting an attorney to be certain that the laws pertaining to your particular situation have not changed.

The language used in most cases on this page is legal terminology taken directly from the statutes and laws of each state. The terminology is not always easy to understand. If you are not sure of something you should consult an attorney so that you can fully understand the meaning of the laws.


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Do not take any actions based upon the information contained within this web site without first consulting an attorney or an appropriate professional depending upon the content of the information.