Washington D.C. Divorce Laws

Washington D.C. Divorce Requirements

Divorces in the United States are handled by the federal court system, so where a divorce petition is filed depends on the place of residency. The residency requirements for the District of Columbia state that one or both individuals involved in the divorce must have residency in the District of Columbia for a minimum of six months before filing.

Both individuals are not required to be residents of the district, and the petitioner does not necessarily need to be a DC resident as long as his or her spouse is a DC resident. Members of the military on active duty who are stationed in DC are deemed residents after six months, according to the District of Columbia Code Title 16 Chapter 9 Section 902.

Washington DC Grounds for Divorce

United States law requires that each divorce petition contain the reason why the individuals request a divorce. This reason is call the grounds for divorce. Grounds are required to be legal under District of Columbia law.

An individual may petition the court and state the grounds for divorce that will need to be proven in court or the spouses can petition together under the decided divorcing grounds.

The District of Columbia has two categories of grounds for divorce: No-fault grounds and Fault grounds. Divorces will only be granted if the grounds are under either of the categories.

No-fault grounds state that the individuals involved have not lived in the same house voluntarily for a minimum of six months without cohabitation or that the individuals have lived apart and separated for at least a year without cohabitation.

When individuals live apart and separated they may live in the same household but have not shared the same food or bedroom for a year. No-fault grounds do not mark one individual responsible for the breaking of the marriage and usually deems the divorce to be mutual.

Fault grounds mark one individual responsible for the breaking of the marriage. Fault grounds include voluntarily living at different residences under mutual conditions for a minimum of six months or living in the same household for a minimum of one year while residing apart and separated.

Child Support in Washington DC

Child support is calculated through the Percentage of Income Formula guidelines. The income of the individual who does not have custody of the children while be calculated depending on the number of children at hand.

The District of Columbia has child support guidelines that will determine how much support should be stipulated. After the calculated amount has been determined, the court has the right to alter the amount under varying circumstances.

These circumstances include the exceptional needs of a child’s care; the individual without custody has a lower income than the individual without custody; resources are required after the property settlement that require increased support; the individual without custody supports other dependents; a temporary reduction for the payment of outstanding debts that cannot exceed twelve months; medical insurance coverage; and the receiving of child support for other children and having a higher income than the individual without custody.

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