What are the grounds for divorce in the District of Columbia?
The answer to this one is pretty straightforward: a divorce may be granted for any of the grounds that the parties have mutually and voluntarily lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of six months, or the parties have lived separate and apart for one year.
In Washington, DC divorce law, the court declares the marriage contract broken; in an annulment, the court says that there never was a marriage. Annulment is much more difficult to prove — and is much rarer — than divorce. If you want to go this route, you will definitely need to speak to a divorce attorney. Of course, if you want an annulment for religious reasons, you’ll need to consult with your priest, minister, or rabbi as well.
You’ll need to provide your divorce lawyer with the following documentation in order to proceed with your dissolution under Washington, DC divorce law. Start gathering everything together as soon as possible so that you can find out what might be missing and submit any requests for duplicates.
- Full addresses and phone numbers of both parties.
- Full names, birth dates, and addresses of all children of the marriage, their school, and grade.
- Information about any prior marriage of either spouse, including a certified copy of the divorce decree.
- A copy of any domestic contracts (e.g. a prenuptial agreement).
- Information about any previous legal proceedings between the spouses or involving any of the children.
- Dates and particulars about any previous separations attempts at reconciliation, or marriage counseling.
- Your previous year’s income tax return, and any related data from the IRS.
- Information about your current income, e.g. a current pay slip.
- A list of substantial assets and liabilities of both spouses.