If the parties are in full agreement and your spouse is eager to actively cooperate as much as possible, there is a simplified or abbreviated filing process in the District of Columbia which can sometimes be used. This process will skip Service procedures completely. Once you receive the reviewed online divorce application back from our divorce lawyers. Check with your local Clerk to learn whether a simplified filing process is available to you.

Depending on specific circumstances of your no fault divorce, the simplified process may vary slightly in documents or procedure. It typically includes:

  1. The parties present their prepared a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA), that is included in the Flash Divorce package, and both parties sign the agreement in the presence of a Notary Public.
  2. Each party keeps a copy of the MSA; the original (with original signatures) will be filed in Court.
  3. The following documents are required:
    • Complaint for Absolute Divorce
    • MSA
    • Blank Consent Answer
    • Joint Waiver of Appeal of Divorce Order / Judgment
    • Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment of Absolute Divorce
    • Vital Records Collection Form – Included in
    • Intake/Cross-Reference Sheet – Included
    • Certificate of Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage or Annulment – Included
    • Praecipe for Uncontested Divorce (both cooperate) – Included
    • Certified copy of your marriage license
    • Filing fee
    • Both parties should take these documents together to the Court. Talk to the Clerk and obtain from the Court a Consent to Have Proceedings Conducted by Hearing Commissioner
  4. Prepare all of these documents to the best of your ability (but do not sign them).
  5. Some of the documents require that the party’s signature is certified. Since the parties are together at the Courthouse and some of the documents must be certified, both parties should sign all of these documents (where appropriate) only in the presence of a Notary Public at the Courthouse.
  6. File all of the documents with the Clerk and pay the filing fee. Explain that both parties are in full agreement and cooperation, and that both parties are appearing at the courthouse to file. As such, the parties agree to waive all Service and waiting periods, and would like a Hearing scheduled as soon as possible. Note: It is possible that the Joint Waiver of Appeal of Divorce Order / Judgment and the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment of Absolute Divorce documents will not be accepted at this time, but must be brought to the Hearing.
  7. Work with the Clerk to schedule a Hearing, which should occur within a couple weeks.
  8. Both parties should attend the Hearing. Bring to the Hearing (if not accepted previously):
    • Joint Waiver of Appeal of Divorce Order / Judgment o Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment of Absolute Divorce
    • Certified copy of your marriage license.
    • Also bring copies of the divorce documents created with Flash Divorce which you have signed or already filed. If a document has been misplaced by the Court, your copy might be accepted and allow the divorce action to continue.
  9. At the Hearing, present the official copy of your marriage license, and cooperate fully with the Court to answer any questions. You will usually be asked the following basic questions, in one form or another:
    • Please state your name and address?
    • How long have you been a resident of the District of Columbia?
    • Has your residency been continuous?
    • Did there come a time when you became married? To Whom? When and where was that?
    • Can you identify this document? (This is my marriage certificate which I enter to the Court as evidence.)
    • Were there any children born of this marriage?
    • (If yes) What are their names and ages? Who has custody of the child(ren)? Which of the parties is a fit and proper person to have custody of the minor child(ren)? Have provisions been made for the support of your minor child(ren)?
    • When did you and your spouse separate?
    • Why did you separate? (We could not get along and agreed to go our separate ways.)
    • Who left? Where were you living at the time of the separation?
    • Has this separation been voluntary, continuous, and uninterrupted for more than six months?
    • If the separation has not been voluntary by both parties, has it continued for more than twelve months?
    • During the time of the separation, did you and your spouse resume any cohabitation? (No)
    • Is there any reasonable hope or expectation for a reconciliation? (No)
    • Are there any property rights to be settled by the Court? (No)
  10. The Judge or Commissioner will likely sign the decree, finalizing your divorce.