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District of Columbia Alimony

According to District of Columbia Code Annotated; Title 16, Chapter 9, Sections 911, 912 and 913, either spouse may be awarded alimony, during the divorce proceeding or after, if it is just or proper. There are no specific factors listed in the statute. However, marital fault may be considered.

In the District of Columbia support can influence the distribution of property, and it can become a very intricate part of the outcome of any divorce. When spouses are unable to reach an agreement about support the Superior Court can order support from one spouse to the other on a case-by-case basis.

Types of Alimony

In the District of Columbia courts generally award two types of alimony: rehabilitative or indefinite. Rehabilitative alimony is temporary. Indefinite alimony is permanent, ending when either spouse dies.

Factors Considered by the Court

In the District of Columbia the award of alimony is at the discretion of the court. The court determines the amount and duration, and may modify alimony if there's a change of circumstances. In making a decision, the court considers all the relevant factors necessary for a fair and equitable award, including the:

  • ability of the person seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting;
  • time necessary for the person seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that spouse to secure suitable employment;
  • standard of living that the couple established during their marriage, but giving consideration to the fact that there will be two households to maintain;
  • duration of the marriage;
  • circumstances which contributed to the breakup;
  • age of each spouse;
  • physical and mental condition of each spouse;
  • ability of the paying spouse to meet his or her needs while paying alimony; and
  • financial needs and resources of each spouse.

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