Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–920. Effective date of decree or judgment for annulment or absolute divorce.

A decree or judgment annulling or dissolving a marriage, granting an absolute divorce, or terminating a domestic partnership, shall become effective to dissolve the bonds of matrimony or domestic partnership 30 days after the docketing of the decree or judgment unless either party applies for a stay with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. If the application for a stay is denied, the judgment will become final upon entry of the court’s order denying the stay. If the application for a stay is granted, the stay shall continue in effect until the conclusion of the appeal. If the parties desire immediate finality, they may file a joint waiver of the right to appeal, which will make the decree or judgment final upon docketing of the joint waiver.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 563, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Sept. 29, 1965, 79 Stat. 890, Pub. L. 89-217, § 4; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(m), 49 DCR 7827; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 2(g), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-920.

1973 Ed., § 16-920.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-207 rewrote the section which had read as follows: “A decree, annulling or dissolving a marriage, or granting an absolute divorce, shall not become effective until the time for noting an appeal shall have expired, and, if notice of appeal has been entered, such decree shall not become effective until the date of the final disposition of the appeal.”