Washington DC Divorce, custody and child support actions are generally consolidated and can be overwhelming, financially devastating and emotionally draining. Our DC divorce lawyers are experienced, tenacious, and thoroughly familiar with DC Superior Court divorce rules, relevant statutes and the case law.
Below are some of the legal outlines pertaining to divorce, separation, division of property and alimony:
DC divorce from bonds of marriage can be granted if:
1) Parties have “mutually and voluntarily” resided separate/apart without cohabitation for six months preceding the commencement of the divorce action;
2) Or that both parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart (pursuant to court order) without cohabitation for a period of one year next preceding the commencement of the action.
A legal separation from bed and board on the other hand is granted if parties to the marriage have mutually and voluntarily lived separate and apart without cohabitation; or that both parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for one year preceding the filing of the action.
You may be deemed to have lived separate and apart from one another even though you reside under the same roof as long as you have each pursued separate lives sharing neither bed nor board or have been deemed separate pursuant to a court order.
The division of property in dissolution of marriage is determined by assigning to each party his or her sole and separate property acquired prior to the marriage, and his or her sole and separate property acquired during the marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and any increase thereof, or property acquired in exchange thereof.
The court will distribute all other property and debt accumulated during the marriage that has not been addressed in a valid antenuptial or postnuptial agreement or a decree of legal separation, in a manner that is equitable, just, and reasonable, after considering all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:
1) Duration of the marriage;
2) age, health, occupation, income, employment of each of the parties;
3) child custody awards and support thereof;
4) alimony and other legal financial obligation from a prior marriage;
5) the future earning capacity of each party;
6) each party’s contribution to the family nucleus;
7) possible financial contribution to the education of one spouse to the other enhancing the earning potential;
8) each party’s fluctuations in income as a result of the marriage;
9) each party’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation, appreciation, dissipation, of all depreciation assets;
10) taxation considerations on the value of the distributable assets; and
11) the circumstances giving cause to filing of the divorce and estrangement of parties.
The Court may issue an order for payment of alimony to either party when deemed just and proper. The Court will specify the amount, duration and basis for such award. The order may also be retroactive to the date of filing.
Generally the Court will weigh the following factors in award of the alimony:
1) Financial structure and abilities of both parties;
2) time needed for alimony receiving party to secure employment and self-sufficiency;
3) parties standard of living during the marriage;
4) duration of marriage;
5) separation causes and the contributory party; and other general factors such as;
6) age, physical and emotional status, financial landscape, needs and liabilities of each party, etc.
Divorces are generally draining both emotionally and financially. Your representation though should be impeccable and thorough so that you may preserve what is legally yours and obtain what you deserve. Contact our experienced DC divorce lawyer for an immediate case evaluation.
Moreover, involvement of an experienced DC Divorce lawyer is critical to succeeding in the ensuing litigation or even reaching a global settlement agreement. The only consolation to a protracted and highly contested dissolution of marriage is having a competent, capable and dedicated DC divorce lawyer.
Your initial consultation with our family law DC divorce lawyers is complimentary.
Below are some of the sample legal documents/resources pertaining to a divorce action in the District:
• Complaint for Absolute Divorce
• Consent Answer (Absolute Divorce)
• Contested Answer and Counterclaim (Absolute Divorce)
• Reply to Counterclaim (Absolute Divorce)
• Joint Waiver of Appeal of Divorce Order/Judgment
• Joint Request for Uncontested Divorce Hearing