Uncontested Divorce in DC
Many people picture divorce as a long and costly process that leaves people further embittered against one another and unhappy with how the divorce went. Divorce in DC does not have to involve a contentious, drawn-out court battle. If you and your spouse can amicably resolve matters related to the divorce, you should consider getting an uncontested divorce in DC. You and your spouse must agree on dividing marital property and debt, whether or not there will be alimony, and what to do about children if you have them. If you can agree with your spouse on those items then you are well on your way to getting an uncontested divorce in DC. Once you have agreed with your spouse, you must sign and file the requisite paperwork with the court. Once the paperwork is filed you will receive a court date where a judge will preside over your uncontested divorce in DC. In an uncontested divorce in DC, rather than having multiple trips to the court, you have one hearing, and you get your divorce in DC granted the day of your one hearing. The steps are outlined in greater detail below.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE FILING FOR AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE IN DC
First, you must meet the residency and separation requirements necessary to get a divorce in DC. These requirements are that either you or your spouse have lived in DC for six months before filing for divorce and that you have been separated mutually and continuously from one another for six months or have been separated continuously for one year. The law of divorce in DC allows for separation while cohabitation, which means some people can get their uncontested divorce in DC by proving to the court that they are separated even though they are still living together. Our DC Family Lawyer can explain the requirements for separation while cohabitating.
In addition to meeting the basic requirements for divorce in DC, as mentioned above, you will need to have an agreement that resolves everything related to the divorce so that the only thing you are asking the court to do is to grant you your divorce in DC. Our DC Divorce Lawyer can help you draft your marital settlement agreement to make sure it meets the standards and requirements a court will want it to meet. In some limited cases, you may not need a written agreement to get an uncontested divorce in DC, but in most cases, it is a good idea to have an agreement in writing. A Divorce Attorney in DC can explain the benefits of a written agreement. If you have already drafted a written agreement for your uncontested divorce in DC, our DC Divorce Lawyer can help you review it to ensure it covers everything you need. Once the agreement is reached and signed, the next step is filing your case for an uncontested divorce with the court.
WHAT DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO PREPARE FOR FILING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE IN DC
In addition to the settlement agreement, there are several documents that you and your spouse will have to prepare for filing for your DC uncontested divorce. The person filing the case must prepare and sign a Complaint for Absolute Divorce in DC. The other party will have to prepare and sign a Consent Answer. You both will also have to sign an Uncontested Praecipe document, which alerts the court clerk that the case is uncontested. Collectively, these documents for an uncontested divorce in DC are referred to as the pleadings in the case.
Once the court clerk sees the case is for an uncontested divorce in DC, the clerk will place the case on an expedited track, meaning it will be heard before other contested divorce cases are filed simultaneously. In most cases, you can expect your uncontested divorce in DC to be heard before the court in three to five weeks after filing. In some cases, you and your spouse may want to consider signing a joint waiver of appeal, and our DC Divorce Lawyer can explain the reasoning for signing versus not signing a joint waiver of appeal. Our DC Family Lawyer can also help ensure all pleadings are drafted and filed correctly so that everything goes smoothly on the day of the hearing.
HEARINGS FOR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE IN DC
Uncontested divorce in DC involves a hearing before a judge who will ask questions and examine the filed pleadings to ensure everything is in place to grant the uncontested divorce. For some people, going to court and talking to a judge can be a stressful and confusing experience. For other people, going to court and before a judge is an entry into a world they have many questions about and no experience in. That is where our Washington DC Divorce Lawyer can help. Our DC Divorce Lawyer will go to your hearing with you for your uncontested divorce in DC and explain what to expect and what will happen.
DC DIVORCE LAWYERS AND UNCONTESTED DIVORCE CASES
The Barkat Law Firm has handled countless uncontested divorce cases for our clients. Our experience in representing clients in uncontested divorces in DC will help you get what you want – a quick divorce that helps you avoid a long, costly, and expensive divorce in DC. Our DC Divorce Lawyer will help you get from the beginning of the divorce to the end of your divorce efficiently and quickly by being involved during each stage in the divorce process, from agreement to pleadings to filing to appearing at the uncontested divorce hearing with you.
FAQ’s About Uncontested Divorces in DC
An uncontested divorce, or consent divorce, is a divorce where the parties have reached an agreement on all the relevant issues to their case, such as property division, property settlement agreement, alimony, child custody, child support, etc., and the only thing the court has to do is grant a divorce. Below are several frequently asked questions about uncontested divorces in Washington, DC.
Q: How can I qualify for an uncontested divorce in Washington, DC?
A: To get an uncontested divorce in Washington, DC, you must meet the jurisdictional requirements and agree on all issues in your case.
Q: What are the jurisdictional requirements for an uncontested divorce in Washington, DC?
A: The jurisdictional requirements for an uncontested divorce in Washington, DC require that one of the parties to the divorce case has lived in Washington, DC, for at least six months preceding the divorce filing and that the parties have been mutually, voluntarily, and continuously separated for six months before the filing, or that the parties have been separated for one year before filing.
Q: How long does it take to get a court date for an uncontested divorce in Washington, DC?
A: The court date is assigned at the filing time and depends on the Court’s docket. However, you can usually expect to receive a court or hearing date set for about 3-5 weeks after filing. For example, if you file on August 1, you will likely be in court at the end of August or the beginning of September.
Q: Do both parties have to attend the uncontested divorce hearing?
A: The party who files the case must attend the hearing, or the case can be dismissed. The non-filing party has discretion over whether to appear or not, and if they do not appear, the uncontested divorce hearing can still proceed without them.
Q: How do I prepare for my uncontested divorce hearing?
A: To prepare, you should review the filings and your settlement agreement. If you have an attorney, you should ask them to help you prepare.
Q: Does my attorney come to the uncontested divorce hearing with me?
A: Yes, your attorney can attend the hearing with you as long as that has been agreed to.
Q: What happens at the uncontested divorce hearing?
A: At the hearing, the clerk will call your case when the judge is ready. The judge, or an attorney, will then ask the filing party a series of questions related to documents filed in court. If all the proper requirements have been met, the judge will issue your divorce order.
Q: Will the judge review my settlement agreement at the uncontested divorce hearing?
A: It depends; based on your specific case, it might make sense to have the judge review the settlement (e.g., if there are custody issues), or it might be better to leave the settlement as a private agreement.
Q: How long is the uncontested divorce hearing?
A: The hearings are relatively short, and you can expect, in most cases, not to be in court for very long.
Q: What if my case started as a contested court case, but we now have an agreement?
A: If your case started contested and was already in court, you can let the court know that the case has been settled and can now proceed as an uncontested case.