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Brief Family Law Information Sheets

Legal Information

Alimony Fact Sheet

Alimony (also called spousal support) is financial support paid by one former spouse to the other after a divorce or a legal separation. This fact sheet explains the details and process of alimony in DC.

Annulment Fact Sheet

A legal annulment is a judgement of the court that a marriage is invalid. A legal annulment cancels the marriage—the legal effect is as if the marriage had not taken place at all.

Child Custody and Visitation Fact Sheet

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.

Child Support Fact Sheet

Each child is entitled to be supported by both parents, and all parents have a legal duty to support their children. Court-ordered child support is usually money, but may also include medical support, such as health insurance or assistance with medical expenses.

Divorce in Washington D.C. Factsheet

Divorce is the legal way to end marriage. The spouse who begins the divorce process by filing papers in the court is the plaintiff; the other spouse is the defendant. A divorce is either contested or uncontested.

Fee Waivers in Washington D.C. Fact Sheet

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.

Navigating Remote Court Hearings

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.

Serving Court Papers in Washington D.C. - Divorce and Custody Cases

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.

Serving Domestic Relations Pleadings Filed During COVID-19

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

Starting a Child Support Case Fact Sheet

A two page flyer about starting a child support case in D.C.

Uncontested Divorce in D.C. Fact Sheet

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.

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