District of Columbia District of Columbia

Divorce Law Guide

District of Columbia Divorce Overview

Residency Requirement
Living Separate & Apart
Processing Time
Filing Fee
6 months
6 months
180 days

The facts about divorce in District of Columbia

Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is the legal process of severing a marriage contract, which is overseen by a court of law in the state in which one or both of the divorcing spouses live. The process for getting a divorce and acceptible grounds for divorce vary from state to state.

In District of Columbia, a divorce can be completed on average in a minimum of 180 days, with court fees of $80.00. The state has divorce residency requirements that require the spouse filing for the divorce to have lived in District of Columbia for a minimum of six months.

On this page, you can learn about District of Columbia's grounds for divorce, how the divorce process works, and about other parts of the divorce process, such as District of Columbia alimony calculation, the property division process and more.

District of Columbia Divorce Law Summary

The District of Columbia, though not a state, has it's own divorce laws for those who have married or reside in the state. Though it is considered a state with a no-fault divorce, the District of Columbia only recognizes mutual separation for one year as a reason for divorce. They do not recognize any other.

To be eligible for a divorce decree, the spouses must be mutually voluntary separated with no cohabitation for six months and if living in the same house, must not share a room or food for a year.

District of Columbia Divorce Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

In District of Columbia a number of factors are taken into account when ending a marriage.

1. District of Columbia Grounds for Divorce FAQ

Is District of Columbia a no-fault divorce state?

District of Columbia allows no-fault divorces, which means that a divorce is granted without establishing the fault of either spouse for causing the divorce. Grounds for a no-fault divorce in District of Columbia may be "irreconcilable differences", or similar grounds.

The District of Columbia is exclusively a no-fault divorce state, which means that the only grounds for divorce offered on divorce applications are considered no-fault.

Does District of Columbia allow at-fault divorces?

District of Columbia does not support traditional at-fault grounds for divorce, instead offering blanket divorce grounds that do not require either spouse to be proved to be at-fault when filing for divorce.

Does the District of Columbia allow incompatibility as grounds for divorce?

The District of Columbia does not allow incompatibility to be reason alone for having a divorce.

Can you get a divorce in District of Columbia for living separate and apart?

In divorce law, "living seperate and apart" refers to married spouses who are living separate from each other, not engaging in a traditional marital relationship, and do not intend to repair the marriage.

In District of Columbia, married couples who have been living separate and apart for a minimum of six months may be granted a divorce on these grounds when sued for by either spouse.

2. District of Columbia Divorce Process FAQ

Does District of Columbia allow legal separation?

Legal separation (otherwise known as "judicial separation") is a legal process that enables spouses to be de facto separated while remaining legally married.

In some cases, District of Columbia will grant a judicial separation court order to a married couple who wishes to live separately. This order may settle issues generally handled in a divorce such as property division and alimony. A legal separation may be followed up by a full divorce, or the spouses may later reconcile and end the separation while remaining legally married.

What's the difference between a divorce and an annulment in District of Columbia?

While a divorce is the process of exiting a legally valid marriage, an annulment is the process of rendering a marriage null and void. An annulment makes it legally as if a marriage never took place to begin with.

Generally, annulment is used to conclude a marriage that should not have been legally recognized in the first place, such as a marriage where one of the spouses was unable to consent (by virtue of being underage, due to mental incapacity, or even intoxication), a marriage that was entered into under duress or via fraudulent means, or when one of the spouses was already legally married.

How long do I have to live in in the District of Columbia to get a divorce?

The District of Columbia requires that spouses suing for divorce to have lived in the state for a minimum of six months prior to filing divorce papers. Otherwise, District of Columbia courts are not considered to have jurisdiction over the divorce case.

What is the filing fee for a divorce in District of Columbia?

The court fees for filing the paperwork for a basic divorce in a District of Columbia court is $80.00. However, the total costs for a divorce can be much higher - especially in the case of a contested divorce, where attorney fees and mediation costs average from $15,000 to $20,000 or more.

How long does it take to get a divorce in District of Columbia?

If the process moves along without holdups, the paperwork for a divorce in District of Columbia can be processed in a minimum of 180 days. However, if the spouses are not in agreement about the divorce process, a contested divorce can take significantly longer.

3. District of Columbia General Divorce FAQ

Can my spouse stop me from getting a divorce?

Even if one spouse is opposed to getting a divorce, they cannot stop their partner from filing for and receiving a divorce in District of Columbia. While filing a non-contested joint petition for divorce speeds up the process, either spouse can file for divorce individually at any time.

| State Law Official Text

** This Document Provided By MaritalLaws **
Source: http://www.maritallaws.com/states/district-of-columbia/divorce