District of Columbia Grounds for Divorce

The Complaint for Divorce is the initial document filed with the District of Columbia court. It is in this document that the filing spouse will request the court to terminate the marriage under certain specified grounds.

A divorce shall granted by the court only upon one of the following grounds:

No-Fault Based Grounds:
(1) Mutual separation and living apart for at least 6 months; (2) living separate and apart without cohabitation for at least 1 year. The separation period may be accomplished by living under the same roof, as long as the spouses do not share bed or food. (District of Columbia Code - Title 16 - Chapter 9 - Sections: 904, 905, 906)

Every divorce case that is filed in the state of District of Columbia must declare the grounds in which the divorce is to be granted. The grounds for divorce must be substantiated with evidence or testimony otherwise the court may dismiss the case. When you are petitioning the court for a divorce, or agreeing to a divorce, make sure that you completely understand the grounds and any potential legal repercussions. If you would like to learn more about the District of Columbia grounds, visit the District of Columbia state statutes located at: