Top 5 D.C. Divorce Laws

The top 5 things everyone should know about D.C. divorce laws.

District of Columbia

At least one spouse must be a resident of D.C. for 6 months in order to file for divorce. In the case of divorce for military personnel, as long as one of the military spouses has been stationed in D.C. for 6 months, they are D.C. residents.

There are only 2 grounds for divorce in D.C. They are: mutual voluntary separation without cohabitation for 6 months, and living separate and apart for 1 year. Living separate and part can be achieved under the same roof if the spouses do not share a bed or food for 1 year.

Child support in D.C. is granted to the parent who has the child’s best interests. In determining which parent has the best interests, the court considers factors such as preference of child, parent’s wishes, possible disruptions to child’s social life and school, demands of parental employment, and more.

Property divided in D.C. divides all property other than separate property (defined as property obtained by gift, inheritance, or before marriage) based on factor including, but not limited to: length of marriage, amount and sources of income of both spouses, spouse’s contributions to property, and prior marriages.

Spousal support can be awarded permanently, temporarily, or not awarded based on, but not limited to, the following factors: the length of the marriage, factors contributing to the marital breakdown, ability of spouses to meet basic needs, and training or education necessary to obtain appropriate employment.

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