In order to file for divorce with a divorce lawyer in Washington, DC, there are a few requirements. Washington, DC allows for no-fault divorces, or divorces where fault is not attached to either party. While no-fault divorces are allowed, one of the two parties must file for divorce by alleging that their marriage is irretrievably broken, or cannot be fixed. You can continue reading below to better understand the process of filing for divorce in Washington, DC.
The three requirements that you must meet in order to file for a divorce in Washington, DC are as follows: residency, proof of marriage, and grounds for divorce.
Either you or your spouse must have lived in Washington, DC for at least six months before filing for a divorce. If you are unsure as to whether you qualify for the residency requirement, you should check your residency status and speak with your Washington, DC divorce lawyer.
Proof of Marriage
You and your spouse need to provide proof that you are in fact legally married. Either of you will need to present a certified copy of the marriage certificate. Make sure that the certificate or copy that you provide has a special watermark or seal. You can get such a copy by contacting the county recorder or vital records department at the location in which you were married.
Grounds for Divorce
There are two requirements that you can meet in order to qualify on the “grounds” stipulation in Washington, DC. Before filing for divorce in Washington, DC, you and your spouse must have lived separately for six months. “Living separately” means living apart without sexual relations. The other option is for you both to have lived “separate and apart” for one year without cohabitation. Under this option, the separation may be involuntary, unlike the agreed upon separation of the first option.
Once you have qualified to file for divorce, you will have to actually file important documents with the court. Your Washington, DC divorce lawyer can help you with this, but you will likely need to provide the following: Complaint for Absolute Divorce, Summons, Consent Answer, Cross-Reference Intake Form, Vital Statistic Form, and the Uncontested Praecipe. Should you and your spouse agree on what you want out of the divorce, then you can complete a Divorce Settlement Agreement. Be sure to make copies of all of the forms for your own record, and bring the completed forms to the Court Clerk’s Office. Once you have the forms ready, submit them to the clerk and pay the filing fee. Consult your Washington, DC divorce lawyer before filing or taking any further action.