Domestic Relations Rule 68 of the District of Columbia Superior Court Rules provides that a defendant or counter-defendant can make an Offer of Judgment at any time more than ten days before the trial.

You offer to allow judgment to be taken against you for money, property or to the effect specified in the order.

The plaintiff then has ten days to accept the offer by serving written notice on the defendant.

If the offer is accepted, the Court will enter the judgment, unless it finds that the provisions with respect to custody, visitation or with support are not in the best interests of the child.

If you reject the offer, and the Court finds that you did not get a better trial outcome than the offer, then you have to pay the other side’s attorney fees incurred after the offer was made.

So let’s say your husband sues you for child custody. You make an Offer of Judgment before trial that says you get custody. He is going to reject it because that is what he sued you for in the first place. If the court grants you custody, then Rule 68 may require him to pay your attorney fees for trial preparation and the trial.