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District of Columbia Divorce Law

Divorce Laws in District of Columbia

District of Columbia divorce laws have maintained the traditional fault based grounds for divorce. You may file for either voluntary separation after six months or involuntary separation after 1 year. Under this concept, you must have a valid reason for a divorce in District of Columbia. Additionally, one of the spouses must have been a resident in the state of District of Columbia for at least six months prior to filing for divorce in DC.

Alimony & Equitable Distribution in District of Columbia

District of Columbia is known as an equitable distribution state. According to the divorce laws in District of Columbia this means that the marital property must be divided equitably or fairly, without regard to the title held. Separate property, or property owned prior to the marriage, shall be retained by the owning spouse.

Alimony can be awarded to either the husband or wife. Alimony shall not be awarded for rehabilitative reasons. Such factors as the length of the marriage, the partiesí prior living standard, etc. are considered in determining the amount and duration that should be paid. However, marital misconduct may be considered under District of Columbia divorce laws.

District of Columbia Child Support, Child Visitation and Child Custody

The main focus in determining child custody, according to DC divorce law, is the best interest of the children. The preference of the child as well as of the parents shall be considered in addition to the relationship between them. Visitation rights are typically awarded to the non custodial parent if both parents are in agreement.

Child support (a percentage of the non-custodial parentsí income paid to assist with the support of his children) is determined by the Child Support Guidelines as set forth by divorce law in District of Columbia. Support guidelines are based on income (as stated above) as well as the number of dependants and the age of the oldest child. Expect to pay child support until the age of 21.

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