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District of Columbia Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in the District of Columbia, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in Washington D.C. should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of District of Columbia Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified District of Columbia Divorce Professional.

  • One of the spouses must be a resident for six months prior to filing.
  • No-fault divorce is permitted when there is mutual voluntary separation for six months or the spouses have been living separate and apart for one year, which may be accomplished under the same roof if the parties do not share a bed and food.
  • The District of Colombia recognizes common law marriages.
  • Legal separation, divorce a mensa et thoro ("from bed and board"), may be granted on the grounds of 1) adultery, 2) cruelty, 3) voluntary separation and 4) living separate and apart without cohabitation.
  • There are no provisions in Washington D.C. for a simplified divorce.
  • The court can order either or both parents to attend parenting classes when child custody is an issue.
  • Either spouse may be awarded alimony if it is "just and proper."
  • Sole or joint custody may be granted based on the best interest of the child standard.

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