Below are some of the frequently asked questions clients have when considering a legal separation:
Q: What is legal separation?
A: Legal separation is the end of cohabitation between spouses.
Q: Does a legal separation end my marriage?
A: A separation does not legally end a marriage. Only a divorce, annulment, etc. will legally end or void your marriage.
Q: Are the requirements for legal separation the same as for divorce?
A: No, the timing requirements are different. In order obtain a divorce in the District of Columbia you will had to have mutually lived separate and apart for six months or have involuntarily lived separate and apart for one year. In order to be eligible for a legal separation you must currently be living separately and apart. It also important to note that the Court will consider you and your spouse living separate and apart even if you live in the same house if you can prove you are living separate lives.
Q: Aside from separation what issues will the Court adjudicate in a legal separation case?
A: The Court can determine custody, child support, spousal support, and equitable distribution of marital property.
Q: If I get a legal separation can I later turn it into a divorce?
Contact the Barkat Law Firm to speak to a D.C. divorce attorney about obtaining a legal separation in the District of Columbia.
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If you are getting a divorce in the District of Columbia you can request, and may be eligible to receive spousal support. Section 16-913 of the District of Columbia Code states that, “In determining an award for spousal support the Court looks at all relevant factors including, but not limited to, the:
(1) ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting;
(2) time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or
training to enable that party to secure suitable employment;
(3) standard of living that the parties established during their marriage or domestic
partnership, but giving consideration to the fact that there will be 2 households
(4) duration of the marriage or domestic partnership;
(5) circumstances which contributed to the estrangement of the parties;
(6) age of each party;
(7) physical and mental condition of each party;
(8) ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet his or her needs while
meeting the needs of the other party; and
(9) financial needs and financial resources of each party, including:
(B) income from assets, both those that are the property of the marriage or
domestic partnership and those that are not;
(C) potential income which may be imputed to non-income producing assets of a
(D) any previous award of child support in this case;
(E) the financial obligations of each party;
(F) the right of a party to receive retirement benefits; and
(G) the taxability or non-taxability of income.”
Contact the Barkat Law Firm today to speak with a D.C. divorce attorney about how to pursue or fight against a request for spousal support.
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In order to obtain a divorce in the District of Columbia you must meet the District’s residency requirements and also qualify under one of the District’s two grounds for divorce. Those items are addressed in greater detail below.
What are the residency requirements for divorce in the District of Columbia?
The residency requirement states that either you or your spouse must have been a resident in the District of Columbia for the six months preceding the filing for divorce.
What are the grounds for divorce in the District of Columbia?
The District of Columbia allows for two grounds to base your divorce on. The first ground requires that you and your spouse have voluntarily been living “separate and apart” without cohabitation for at least six months prior to the divorce. The second ground requires that you and your spouse have been involuntarily living “separate and apart” without cohabitation for at least one year.
For more information on whether you are eligible to obtain a divorce in the District of Columbia contact the Barkat Law Firm today and speak to a D.C. divorce attorney.
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