?Washington DC Family Law Attorney

Being embroiled in a legal family battle is perhaps the toughest thing you’ll ever have to face. It’s emotionally taxing and psychologically draining. Not to mention that if you don’t hire a high-caliber Washington DC family law attorney, you risk losing it all—your kids, finances, custody, or property—in the blink of an eye. The experienced, award-winning lawyers at Petrelli Previtera are here to make sure that never happens. Whether you’re considering a Washington DC divorce or fighting to secure child custody, we will be in your corner through and through. The winning corner.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are a top-ranked, award-winning legal team.
  • Our expertise and experience in family law matters are unmatched.
  • Our team is built on the foundations of professionalism, dedication, and care.
  • We have a proven track record in handling Washington DC family law cases. Previous clients say they love our work and that we’ve helped put their lives back on track. You could be next.
  • Legal fees are a secondary concern to us. Our biggest priority is bringing clarity out of your divorce, custody, child support, and other family law chaos.

(866) 465-5395 is the magic number. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get in touch with our legal team the soonest, and we will make it worth your while.

Putting Our Client’s Needs First

No one would wish for their child to be whisked away, their spousal support to be cut off, or their marriage to end. One thing quickly leads to another, and before you know it, you’re on the brink of losing someone or something that you hold so dear. When that happens, you want to lean on a law firm that puts your needs first. Petrelli Previtera is that firm.

We know that no two family law cases are the same. That’s why we go out of our way to create a personalized legal plan for your specific issue, with your goals and concerns in mind. Our Washington DC family law attorneys are prepared, responsive, and goal-oriented from the start of your case to its very conclusion.

We represent our clients in every aspect of family law, including:

Why wait when you can get customized, high-quality, client-focused family law representation in Washington DC today? Get in touch with Petrelli Previtera to get started.

Washington DC Family Laws:  A Quick Overview

Like in any other state, family laws in D.C. are rather long and complex. We’ve broken them down for you below.

Child Custody Guidelines

In the District of Columbia, there are no laid-down rules on who will automatically get custody of the child. The law here doesn’t favor either parent. When deciding custody, it all comes to what is in the “best interests of the child.”

Courts typically award sole legal custody, joint legal custody, sole physical custody, joint physical custody, or other forms of custody in a way that’s in the child’s best interests. Often though, D.C. law presumes that joint custody is in the best interests of the child.

There are also some red flags that weigh against custody. Parental kidnapping, child abuse or neglect, and domestic violence can reverse the presumption and favor sole custody.

Divorce Requirements

According to Code Section §16-901, et seq. of the District of Columbia Divorce Laws, at least one party must be a bona fide D.C. resident for six months before filing for divorce.

Also, Washington DC requires a period of separation before granting a divorce. If you and your soon-to-be-ex separate mutually and voluntarily, you only need to stay apart for six months for your petition to be accepted. When there isn’t a voluntary and mutual separation, a one year period is required before the divorce.

Child Support Laws

The D.C. Child Support Guideline is the law that determines the amount of child support that must be paid. The Guideline sets a presumptive amount, an amount that judges must order in most instances. However, there’s a wriggle room for parents to agree on a different amount.

By law, only certain kinds of information are used to calculate the Guideline amount. They include (but are not limited to):

  • The gross income of both parents
  • The cost of the child’s health insurance and extraordinary medical expenses
  • The amount of time the child spends with each parent
  • The amount of any court-ordered child support paid by either parent for another child
  • The cost of reasonable childcare expenses for the child

Division of Marital Assets Guidelines

Washington DC is not a “community property” state. Rather, the District of Columbia has an “equitable distribution” policy—meaning the court will not necessarily divide your marital assets on a 50/50 basis, but will divide them in a way that is fair to both of you.

Spousal Support Laws

When it comes to deciding spousal support payments, the court will essentially look at the imbalance between the divorcing parties. D.C. Alimony Code Section 16-913 states that the court shall consider “all relevant factors for a fair and equitable award.” These include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether you and your spouse can support yourselves separately
  • How much time it will take for either party to become self-sufficient
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Age of the parties
  • Why you divorced in the first place
  • The physical and mental condition of both parties

Whether you need help with alimony, divorce, adoption, child custody, or child support, our Washington DC family law attorneys are just a phone call away! Give us the opportunity to bring clarity out of your family chaos.

Washington DC Family Laws Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Long Does Child Support Last in D.C.?

In the District of Columbia, the duty to provide child support lasts until the child is 21.

2. Can the Amount of Child Support Be Changed in D.C.?

Yes. As a parent, you are allowed to file a motion to modify child support, asking the court to decrease, increase, suspend, or terminate the child support order altogether. However, for your request to be approved, you need to show that there has been a substantial and material change in your ability to provide for your child’s needs.

3. How Long Will I Receive / Have to Pay For Alimony?

Alimony payments last as long as the judge decides is fair or if an agreement was reached for as long as the parties agreed.

4. Is It True that D.C. Courts Would Prefer Not to Hear Your Divorce Case?

Yes. The courts would rather have divorcing parties solve the case themselves. Divorce cases are, for obvious reasons, the most difficult to solve and the most time-consuming to litigate.

In most cases, you and your soon-to-be-ex will attend some form of a conference to try and work out teething issues in your divorce tussle. This meeting is often mediated by a neutral third party.

5. Is It Really Important For Me to Have a Washington DC Family Law Attorney? My Colleague Got Divorced Without One.

Though you can get a Washington DC divorce without an attorney, it’s important to have someone fight for you in tough legal situations, relentlessly advocate for your rights, and review any proposals your partner is making.

Get Support From Prestigious Family Law Attorneys

Petrelli Previtera is not just any other law firm that makes up the numbers. Our Washington DC family law attorneys pride themselves in being a little more approachable, a little more attentive to details, and a little more prestigious than the average family law attorney. We are real people with real solutions to family law cases, and the various awards we have received over the years prove it.

Just recently, Inc. magazine included Petrelli Previtera on its 2019 & 2020 Inc. 5000 lists. Thomas Petrelli, Jr. and his team are also regular guests on the Super Lawyers list, stretching from as far back as 2011. If anything, these recognitions affirm our top-rated status and reinstate our commitment to helping families solve their disagreements professionally and amicably.

Looking For Answers To Your Tough Family Law Questions? We Have Them.

As one of the most prestigious law firms in the D.C. area, our promise remains true: to give our clients sufficient, timely, and well-thought-out answers to their most pertinent family law questions. We know that when you’re armed with answers, you can finally get some clarity out of your legal family chaos.

We invite you to take a bold step towards securing your family’s future today by speaking to one of our top-rated Washington DC family law attorneys. Contact us at (866) 465-5395 or schedule an online video consultation. No family law case is too complex or too big for us to handle. Give us a try, and we promise not to disappoint.