Washington DC 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
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
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
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 dependants; 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.