Uncontested Divorce in DC

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Uncontested Divorce in DC

Many people have a picture of 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 long drawn out court battle. If you and your spouse are able to amicably resolve matters related to the divorce, then you should consider getting an uncontested divorce in DC. You and your spouse will need to agree on dividing property and debt, whether or not there will be alimony, and what to do about children if you have them. If you can reach an agreement with your spouse on those items then you are well on your way to getting an uncontested divorce in DC. Once you have reached an agreement with your spouse, then you have to 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

The first thing you will need is to meet the residency and separation requirements that are 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 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 are able to 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 what the requirements are 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 to you the benefits of having a written agreement. If you have already drafted a written agreement for you uncontested divorce in DC, our DC Divorce Lawyer can help you review it to make sure it covers everything you need. Once the agreement is reached and signed, then 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 uncontested divorce in DC. The person filing the case will have to 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 a document called an Uncontested Praecipe, which alerts the clerk of the court 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 clerk of the court 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 filed at the same time. 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 making sure all pleadings are drafted and filed correctly so that on the day of the hearing everything goes smoothly.

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 make sure that 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 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 you uncontested divorce and 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 end of your divorce efficiently and quickly by being involved during each stage in the process from agreement, to pleadings, to filing, to appearing at the uncontested divorce hearing with you.


FAQ’s About Uncontested Divorces in DC

Uncontested Divorce in DCAn 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, 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 to get an uncontested divorce in Washington, DC?

A: In order to get an uncontested divorce in Washington, DC you need to meet the jurisdictional requirements and have an agreement 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 case have lived in Washington, DC for at least six months preceding the filing of the case, 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 prior to 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 time of the filing, and is dependent on the Court’s docket. However, you can usually expect to receive a court date that is set for about 3-5 weeks after the time of filing. For example, if you file on August 1, you will likely be in court at the end of August or 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 so long as that has been agreed to in advance.

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 a series of questions to the filing party related to documents that were filed in court. If all the proper requirements have been met, then the judge will then issue your divorce order.

Q: Does 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 (ex. 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.