We have been comparing answers around the Washington beltway to the question “Can I get a divorce if neither I nor my spouse has moved from the marital home?” It is time to take a look at the District of Columbia.
D.C. Code Sec.16-904(a). provides that “a divorce from the bonds of marriage may be granted if: (1) both parties to the marriage have mutually and voluntarily lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of six months next preceding the commencement of the action;” or “(2) both parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year next preceding the commencement of the action.”
Obtaining a divorce on separation grounds without moving out of the same household is not a problem in the District of Columbia. There are no reported cases in DC where a divorce has been denied on separation grounds because neither spouse has moved out of the joint residence. Also there is no corroboration requirement so those difficulties are not present. The Superior Court is the only trial court so there is no possibility of varying interpretation between different circuit courts as there can be in Maryland and Virginia.
So the answer to the question in the District of Columbia is “Yes, you can get a divorce without moving out.”