DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: The petitioner must have lived in D.C. for six months
Grounds: The only grounds for divorce are that the parties have mutually and voluntarily lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of six months, or that the parties have lived separate and apart for one year.
Property Division: The District of Columbia is an equitable-distribution, dual-classification state. That means that property is classified as either separate or marital; separate property must go to the property owner, while marital property is divided between the parties “equitably.” Equitable means fairly, based on how the parties acquired and treated the property during the marriage; it does not mean equally (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: The court can award the husband or the wife alimony sufficient to support that person.
Child Custody and Child Support: As in all states, “the best interests of the child” is the primary concern of the court. The court may award joint or sole legal custody, and there is no presumption as to the form of legal custody (click the following for an overview and list of articles on child custody and child support).
The D.C. child-support guidelines use a complicated formula based on income, time sharing, and a self-support reserve for each parent.
The Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia has an on-line calculator that can help you determine child support: http://csgc.oag.dc.gov/application/main/intro.aspx
By statute, a child is entitled to support until he or she reaches majority; majority in the District of Columbia is age 21.
Disclaimer: The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.