Divorce papers in Washington D.C. — filing for divorce in DC

Online divorce in Washington D.C.

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How to get divorce in Washington D.C.

Online Divorce provides qualitative and approved by the court Washington D.C. divorce papers. The information below will help you understand more about the divorce in Washington D.C.. However, if you feel any doubt or insecurities, we will help you figure out how get your divorce form documents quickly and correctly filled out according to the rules set by the state without hiring an Attorney. onlinedivorce.com provides quick and inexpensive services of online divorce in Washington D.C.. We guarantee that in a short time you will receive the correct Washington D.C. divorce documents with specific circumstances of your divorce, as well as a detailed instruction on what to do next.

Below you can find common steps of how to get divorce in Washington D.C.:


Rules for obtaining a divorce in Washington DC described below apply to both classical and same-sex marriages. The main condition for obtaining a divorce should be the fact that the marriage is recognized as legal, in other words the marriage was made in accordance with all state regulations concerning the marriage ceremony.


Spouses must be residents of the district and reside in Washington DC for a certain time before filing a lawsuit in court.


The couple should have grounds for getting a divorce. Washington DC recognizes no-fault reasons, it is quite convenient for many couples, because it will not be necessary to take out all dirty linen for a court review.


Divorce should not be a lengthy process, so it's good if you and your spouse have no disputes, this will greatly simplify the case. If you have agreed on the division of property, custody of children, their financial support and alimony, then your divorce will be uncontested, so its duration and cost will be much less. If you have arguments, then the court will decide your differences during the hearings and this will be a contested divorce in Washington DC.


You need to fill out the Washington D.C. divorce papers and sue them. The types of divorce form documents that should be filled will vary from the circumstance of your divorce. So couples who do not have children need to fill other papers in compare to couples who have common children. The process of filling out forms can be difficult, especially if you do not have legal background. Nevertheless, do not be scared, since you can initiate Online Divorce in Washington DC - a simple and convenient way to get all the necessary papers with minimal time and money. Using the onlinedivorce.com service you will not need to waste time studying legislation, we will prepare all the necessary Washington D.C. divorce papers that correspond to the type of your divorce. Also Online Divorce guarantees that the forms filled through our service will be accepted by the court.


Once the divorce form documents are completed and submitted to court, you should provide copies of the documents to your spouse so that he or she has the opportunity to review them and if this is required to file a complaint.


It does not matter who sues, in order to meet the requirements for living at least one of the spouses must live in the territory of Washington D.C within 6 months preceding the filing of a petition to the court.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Washington D.C.

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According to the law of the district, the court provides for a divorce on the grounds that you have been living together and being kindly separated for 5 months. If you live under one roof, but do not cohabitate for more than 1 year, then on the basis of this the court can also grant a divorce. Washington DC is a district where only no-fault divorces are recognized.

This is quite convenient, since you do not need to blame the spouse and provide evidence to the court that your partner is guilty of breaking the marriage.

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Annulment of the marriage in Washington D.C.

Annulment is one of the types of divorce, but it differs from divorce by the fact that those marriages that have no legal force should be canceled, in other words, Washington DC does not recognize them, since they were concluded with the violations rules of the district. The annulment is very rare in the District of Columbia, however the legislation has a number of reasons that can recognize the marriage as invalid:

  • Blood relationship. The spouses are closely connected with each other.
  • Bigamy. One of the spouses during the marriage ceremony already had a marriage that had not yet been terminated.
  • During the marriage ceremony, one of the spouses was mentally incompetent because of what he had no opportunity to voluntarily marry.
  • Marriage was concluded with the help of fraudulent actions.
  • During the marriage ceremony, one of the spouses was less than 16 years old, and after the marriage the younger spouse involuntarily continued to live with the elder.
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Custody of the child in Washington D.C.

Custody of the child

Legislation of the District of Columbia established two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody is the right to make decisions about the child's education, health insurance, religion, physical and emotional health. Physical custody implies the residence of the child and making decisions about his or her daily affairs.

Usually, the court decides in favor of joint custody, that is, when the parents equally make decisions regarding the upbringing of the child and bear for it equal responsibility. Regardless of the type of guardianship, courts are always guided by the best interests of the child when a guardian is appointed. For all types of care, the following factors are relevant:

  • The wishes of the child;
  • The desire of parents to take responsibility;
  • The relationship of the child with each of the parents and their relatives;
  • Mental and physical abilities of the child and parents;
  • The environment of the child;
  • The ability of parents to interact with each other in resolving disputes regarding the upbringing of the child;
  • Employment and work schedule of each parent;
  • The age of each parent and the number of underage children in the family;
  • Presence of facts of violence or cruel behavior in the family;

Despite the fact that in your Washington D.C. divorce papers you specify no-fault ground, if there was a violent relationship in the marriage, the court may deprive the guardian of the spouse who committed the act of brutal behavior. Sometimes such a parent may be allowed to visit the child at certain times, provided that the child and custodian are completely safe or under the supervision of special services.

Rules for child support in Washington D.C.

With a divorce in the District of Columbia to determine the amount of financial support court uses the model "Income Shares Model", on the basis of which the total income of the spouses is calculated, and then shared proportionally between the parents on the basis of their income. Thus, a percentage of the total support obligation is assigned to each parent based on that parent's income percentage. For example, if one parent earns $ 50,000 per year and a second $ 25,000, the first parent's share will be 67%, and the second parent's share will be 33% of the total amount of financial support. The share in the total amount of financial support can also vary depending on how much time each parent spends with the child.

Uncontested Washington D.C. divorce with children
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Rules for spousal support in Washington D.C.

Rules for spousal support

Alimony is the amount of money that one spouse pays to the second during a divorce in Washington DC or after it, or in both cases.
The following types of alimony are established by state regulations:

Temporary or "pendente lite" caliper, which means that they are paid until a decision is made. Usually such alimony is issued monthly, until a certain date or certain expected events occur, for example, the spouse receiving alimony will remarry.

Constant alimony is a kind of support, which at the present time is quite rare and extends throughout the life of the spouse-recipient.

Rehabilitation alimony is a temporary payment that is aimed at helping the spouse in obtaining additional skills or education so that he or she can find a good job or move up the career ladder.

In spite of the fact that in divorce form documents you can specify only the no-fault reasons, nevertheless, the judge will also take into account all the circumstances that led to the desire to terminate the marriage. In case of divorce in Washington DC, the court considers the following factors affecting the duration and amount of alimony:

  • The standard of living that the family is used to during the marriage;
  • The self-sufficiency of each spouse;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age of each spouse, as well as their physical, emotional and mental indicators;
  • Circumstances that contributed to the destruction of marriage;
  • Financial resources of each spouse;
  • The time necessary for the receiving spouse to acquire skills and education conducive to employment;

Property division in Washington D.C.

Property division

Division of common property is a capacious issue that faces the court in the process of divorce. Legislation on this varies from the state to state. When divorced in the District of Columbia, the rule of equitable division is used, but this does not always mean that the property will be divided equally. If the spouses do not know how to share their property or have a dispute, then the court will make a decision based on an analysis of the following factors:

  • Age and health level of each spouse;
  • Professional skills, education and employment of each spouse;
  • All sources of income of each spouse;
  • Debts and liabilities;
  • The needs of each are elastic;
  • The potential to acquire assets and liabilities;
  • Any obligations from previous marriages;
  • The emotional, physical and financial contribution that each spouse made in marriage;
  • Responsibilities for home or child care;
  • Any contribution to the education of the spouse, which made it possible to earn more;
  • The contributions that each spouse made to increase the assets;

Similarly, the court can take into account and additional factors, which include:

  • Duration of marriage;
  • The consequences for children after separation (for example, whether the child will have the opportunity to live in the house after it is divided between the spouses);
  • Whether the spouse is the recipient of alimony;
  • Any tax consequences after the division of the estate;

In order to be present in the process of property division, it is necessary to determine which property is common and which is separate, since according to the rules of the District of Columbia only common property can be divided. By common property is meant all assets and liabilities that were acquired by a couple during the marriage. Separate property is the property that the spouse owns to the full and which has passed to him or her through donation or inheritance. Also, the property that was acquired before marriage is separate.

In some situations, property can be mixed. For example, a house that was purchased before marriage, but for which the mortgage was paid by both spouses is mixed. The main information about the property is taken from your Washington D.C. divorce papers, so it is very important to fill them as accurately as possible. This will give the court a vision of the overall picture of the family situation, since you have a better understanding of this issue.

Divorce without a lawyer in Washington D.C.

If you apply for a divorce in Washington D.C., then there is no need to use the services of a lawyer. Cases when a divorce is made without the participation of a lawyer are called Pro Se Divorce, it is a Latin expression that translates as "on her or his own". Depending on which county you live, the process of divorce in the state of Washington D.C. can vary.

Nevertheless, a divorce without the participation of a lawyer is completely legal and is subject to execution in any state. If the spouses have come to the agreement of a division of property and custody of children, then it is very convenient to initiate the Pro Se Divorce.

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Mediation support in Washington D.C.

During the divorce in Washington DC, the court may invite spouses to use the services of mediators if in the case involved underage children.

Divorce forms in Washington D.C.

To file a lawsuit in court you need to fill out the divorce form documents. On the district's website, you can find various types of papers, as well as information regarding divorces. Nevertheless, not all of their forms should be filled in, but only those that are appropriate for the type of your divorce (for example, whether the minor children are involved in the case or not). However, the most prolific Washington D.C. divorce papers that fill many couples are "Complaint for Absolute Divorce", the "Summons" and the "Vital Statistic Form".

On its website The District of Columbia State Bar provides all the necessary information regarding divorce and forms. If you feel that you can not cope with such an abundance of legal themes and rules, this is normal. Many couples prefer to apply for help to onlinedivorce.com in the process of preparing their forms. You do not need to be a lawyer or a specialist in the legislative field, as we will fill all the necessary Washington D.C. divorce papers for you. It only requires you to answer a number of questions that are relevant to your marriage.

Online Divorce will select exactly those papers that meet the circumstances of your divorce, and then fill them in accordance with the rules of the district. We give a 100% guarantee that the divorce form documents filled through our service will be accepted by the court. Filling out forms using Online Divorce is a simple and convenient way to get all the necessary Washington D.C. divorce papers quickly and efficiently.

Uncontested divorce in Washington D.C.

Uncontested divorce in Washington D.C.

By itself, the divorce procedure is a stress for any couple, regardless of the circumstances of the case. The District of Columbia law proposes couples to apply for an uncontested divorce, which is a faster and cheaper way to dissolve the marriage. Usually uncontested divorce in Washington DC. suitable for those couples whose marriage lasted not very long, while the spouses do not have disagreements. The essence of the uncontested divorce is that the couple came to a common decision regarding all their controversial issues, which include:

  • Division of common property and debts;
  • Guardianship of children;
  • The amount of financial support for minor children;
  • The size and duration of alimony;

Even if you have an oral agreements, it is always better to formalize all your common decisions documented and file them along with the Washington DC divorce papers in court.

To get an uncontested divorce in the District of Columbia, you need:

  • Both spouses must be residents of the district for a period of 6 months prior to filing the application with the court.
  • Fill out the form called "Complaint for Divorce" and file it with the court, along with the documents that will settle your disputes (if any).
  • Your spouse must submit "Consent Answer", in fact this divorce form document confirms that your spouse agrees with all the provisions that you indicated in the Complaint.
  • You and your spouse need to submit the form "Uncontested Praecipe", which indicates that you both want to get an uncontested divorce. You also need to submit divorce form documents such as Vital Statistics and a Family Court Cross-Reference. After this, the court will set the date of the hearing on your case.

How to serve divorce papers in Washington D.C.

As in other states, District Columbia law obligates you to serve your spouse, in other words, you must provide copies of the documents you’ve filed to your spouse after you register them in court. This needs to ensure that your spouse has the opportunity to respond to a complaint before the divorce proceedings if he or she wants it.

Washington DC does not allow you to hand over documents to your spouse personally. You can ask your relative or friend who has already reached the age of 18 or apply to any other person not related to divorce with a request to transfer the Washington D.C. divorce papers to your spouse.

You can use the private delivery service or send documents by mail. When your spouse gets the papers, you need to give the court a signed receipt that you served the spouse.

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Filing fees for divorce in Washington D.C.

Total fees will contain sum of Washington D.C. court filing fees and cost of using the service of online divorce in Washington D.C.. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local court officer to determine the exact amount.