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Washington DC - Divorce Requirements
The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of Washington DC divorce.

Click here for more specific information regarding Washington DC divorce laws.

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contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.

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