The District of Columbia offers no-fault divorces, meaning the court will not assign fault to either party. D.C. law states that one party must allege that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" (commonly known as irreconcilable differences, the two parties no longer get along).

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Qualifying for Divorce

In order to file for divorce in the District of Columbia three requirements must be met:

  • Residency: One of the spouses must have lived in the District of Columbia for a minimum of six (6) months prior to filing for divorce.
  • Grounds: The couple must either have agreed to lived separately without sexual relations for at least six (6) month prior to filing for divorce or lived separate and apart for one (1) year without cohabitation regardless of whether tor not the separation was voluntary.
  • Proof of Marriage: The couple must provide proof of their marriage. A certified copy of your marriage certificate will contain an embossed seal or a watermark.  You can typically obtain a certified copy by contacting the Vital Records department or the County Recorder in the county or state where you were married.

Fill Out your forms


When filing for a divorce you must file certain documents as required by the court. Most of the following forms are available through the District of Columbia State Bar website. Forms to be completed and filed by all people filing for no-fault divorce in D.C. include:

  • Complaint for Absolute Divorce
  • Summons
  • Consent Answer
  • Uncontested Praecipe
  • Cross-Reference Intake Form
  • Vital Statistic Form

If both parties are in agreement regarding their divorce they should complete a Divorce Settlement Agreement. Use Rocket Lawyer's easy interview process to complete this agreement, which will outline the terms of the division of property, assets and debts in your divorce. Completing this document will help you avoid the cost and time involved in going to trial but is contingent on the parties being in agreement and acceptance by the Court.

Additional forms may be required for issues of child support, custody and visitation. 

Make Copies of your Forms


Once you have filled out the appropriate forms, make at least two copies of each. One set will be filed with your court clerk's office, and one should be kept for your records.
 
Bring your Completed Forms to your Court Clerk's Office and Pay the Fee


Proceed to your court clerk's office with the originals and copies of your forms. If everything is in order, the clerk will use the original forms and ask you to pay a fee to file.
 
Additional Assistance

You can use Rocket Lawyer to Find a Lawyer in your area who can provide you with further assistance in completing your divorce.

Get started Visit our Divorce Center Get divorce documents and ask a lawyer your questions.

Get started Visit our Divorce Center Get divorce documents and ask a lawyer your questions.