Brief Family Law Information Sheets
Custody is a legal arrangement that establishes who has the right to make decisions about a child and where a child will live. Custody only applies to children under the age of 18. When you get a custody order from a judge, it will determine two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody.
In D.C. Family Court, it costs $80 to start a divorce, custody, visitation or child support case. Once the case has been started, it costs $20 to file a counterclaim or a motion. There may also be other costs, such as witness fees or publication of notices. This two page flyer will explain how to get court fees waived in D.C.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, D.C. Superior Court is currently holding all hearings remotely. Instead of going to the courthouse and having your case heard in a courtroom, the judge in your case will schedule a specific date and time to hear your case by telephone.
When you file papers with the court, all parties involved in the case are entitled to receive a copy. You, not the court, are responsible for getting the copies to them. This is called service of process. Different situations require different types of service.
Service means giving a copy of court papers to the other party or parties in your case. You must serve the other party or parties with any motions, answers, or other papers (“pleadings”) you file in your Domestic Relations case. This document tells you: • How to figure out what type of service you have to do • How to tell the Court that you served your papers to the other party • How to find more information about service
If you and your spouse have agreed to everything in your divorce case and you both sign the necessary papers, you can obtain an uncontested divorce. “Everything” means that you agree about getting a divorce, and also about how you will resolve custody, child support, alimony, and division of property and debts. In other words, you have agreed that the court does not have to resolve any disputes between the two of you about these issues.