Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 9. Divorce, Annulment, Separation, Support, Etc.


§ 16–901. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Cash medical support” means an amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of health insurance provided by a public entity or by another parent, through employment or otherwise, or for extraordinary medical expenses as defined in § 16-916(j)(1) [§ 16-916.01(j)(1)], or for other medical costs not covered by insurance.

(2) “Court” means the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(3) “Domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).

(4) “Domestic partnership” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(4).

(5) “IV-D agency” means the organizational unit of the District government, or any successor organizational unit, that is responsible for administering or supervising the administration of the District’s State Plan under title IV, part D, of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1975 (88 Stat. 2351; 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.), pertaining to parent locator services, paternity establishment, and the establishment, modification, and enforcement of support orders.

(6) “IV-D case” means a case in which the IV-D agency provides services for the purpose of establishing paternity or establishing, modifying, or enforcing a child support obligation.

(6A) “Gender identity or expression” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-1401.02(12A).

(7) “Health insurance coverage” means benefits consisting of amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or amounts paid for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body (provided directly, through insurance or reimbursement, or otherwise, and includes items and services) under any hospital or medical service policy or certificate, hospital, or medical service plan contract, or health maintenance organization contract offered by a health insurer that is available to either parent, under which medical services could be provided to a dependent child.

(8) “Support order” means a judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary, final, or subject to modification, issued by a court or an administrative agency of competent jurisdiction, for the support and maintenance of a child, including a child who has attained the age of majority under the law of the issuing state, or a child and the parent with whom the child is living, which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, or reimbursement and which may include related costs and fees, interest and penalties, income withholding, attorneys’ fees, and other relief.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 560; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 557, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(e)(1); June 18, 1991, D.C. Law 9-5, § 2(b), 38 DCR 2717; Aug. 17, 1991, D.C. Law 9-39, § 2(b), 38 DCR 4970; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-241, § 9, 46 DCR 905; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 106(b), 48 DCR 1270; Mar. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-130, § 202(a), 51 DCR 1615; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 4(c), 53 DCR 1035; Mar. 20, 2008, D.C. Law 17-128, § 2(a), 55 DCR 1525; June 25, 2008, D.C. Law 17-177,§ 10(a), 55 DCR 3696.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-901.

1973 Ed., § 16-901.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269 rewrote par. (2) which formerly read:

“(2) ‘IV-D agency’ means a District of Columbia agency responsible for the establishment and enforcement of a child support order and the establishment of paternity for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Program on Work, Employment, and Responsibility, or other public assistance recipients and nonpublic assistance recipients pursuant to title IV, part D of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1975 (88 Stat. 2351; 42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.).”

D.C. Law 15-130 added par. (4).

D.C. Law 16-79 added pars. (1A) and (1B).

D.C. Law 17-128 rewrote the section.

D.C. Law 17-177 added par. (6A).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 5(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 9 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-372, June 9, 1998, 45 DCR 4270), § 9 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-425, July 31, 1998, 45 DCR 5682), § 9 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-552, December 24, 1998, 46 DCR 521), and § 9 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-19, February 17, 1999, 46 DCR 2492).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 106(b) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(a) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-485, October 3, 2002, 49 DCR 9631).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(a) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-600, January 7, 2003, 50 DCR 664).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(a) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-208, October 24, 2003, 50 DCR 9856).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(a) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-330, January 28, 2004, 51 DCR 1603).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(b) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(b) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 9 of Self-Sufficiency Promotion Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-230, April 20, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 4143).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(b) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(b) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 202(a) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-238, March 25, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2751).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 202(a) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-84, March 10, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3376).


§ 16–902. Residency requirements.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no action for divorce or legal separation shall be maintainable unless one of the parties to the marriage has been a bona fide resident of the District of Columbia for at least 6 months next preceding the commencement of the action.

(b)(1) An action for divorce or legal separation by persons of the same gender, even if neither party to the marriage is a bona fide resident of the District of Columbia at the time the action is commenced, shall be maintainable if the following apply:

(A) The marriage was performed in the District of Columbia; and

(B) Neither party to the marriage resides in a jurisdiction that will maintain an action for divorce or legal separation.

(2) It shall be a rebuttable presumption that a jurisdiction will not maintain an action for divorce or legal separation if the jurisdiction does not recognize the marriage.

(3) Any action for divorce or legal separation as provided by this subsection, including any accompanying petition for alimony, assignment and equitable distribution of property, pendente lite relief, or child custody determination if the District has jurisdiction under § 16-4602.01 or § 16-4602.03, shall be adjudicated in accordance with the laws of the District of Columbia.

(c) No action for annulment of a marriage performed outside the District of Columbia or for affirmance of any marriage shall be maintainable unless one of the parties is a bona fide resident of the District of Columbia at the time of the commencement of the action.

(d) The residence of the parties to an action for annulment of a marriage performed in the District of Columbia shall not be considered in determining whether the action shall be maintainable.

(e) If a member of the armed forces of the United States resides in the District of Columbia for a continuous period of 6 months during his or her period of military service, he or she shall be deemed to reside in the District of Columbia for purposes of this section only.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 560; Sept. 29, 1965, 79 Stat. 889, Pub. L. 89-217, § 1; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 101, 23 DCR 8737; May 31, 2012, D.C. Law 19-133, § 2, 59 DCR 2395; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-183, § 2(a), 61 DCR 11834.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-902.

1973 Ed., § 16-902.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-133 rewrote the section, which formerly read:

“No action for divorce or legal separation shall be maintainable unless one of the parties to the marriage has been a bona fide resident of the District of Columbia for at least six months next preceding the commencement of the action. No action for annulment of a marriage performed outside the District of Columbia or for affirmance of any marriage shall be maintainable unless one of the parties is a bona fide resident of the District of Columbia at the time of the commencement of the action. The residence of the parties to an action for annulment of a marriage performed in the District of Columbia shall not be considered in determining whether such action shall be maintainable. If a member of the armed forces of the United States resides in the District of Columbia for a continuous period of six months during his or her period of military service, he or she shall be deemed to reside in the District of Columbia for purposes of this section only.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-183 substituted “divorce or legal separation” for “divorce” throughout (b); and substituted “Any action for divorce or legal separation as provided by this subsection, including any accompanying petition for alimony, assignment and equitable distribution of property, pendent lite relief, or child custody determination if the District has jurisdiction under § 16-4602.01 or § 16.4602.03” for “Any action for divorce as provided by this subsection” in (b)(3).


§ 16–903. Decree annulling marriage.

A decree annulling the marriage as illegal and void may be rendered on any of the grounds specified by sections 46-401.01 and 46-403 as invalidating a marriage.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 560; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-110, § 4, 57 DCR 27.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-903.

1973 Ed., § 16-903.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-110 substituted “46-401.01” for “ 46-401”.

Cross References

Voidable marriages, grounds, see § 46-402.


§ 16–904. Grounds for divorce, legal separation, and annulment.

(a) 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;

(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.

(b) A legal separation from bed and board may be granted if:

(1) both parties to the marriage have mutually and voluntarily lived separate and apart without cohabitation; 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.

(3) Repealed.

(4) Repealed.

(c) For purposes of subsections (1) and (2) of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, parties who have pursued separate lives, sharing neither bed nor board, shall be deemed to have lived separate and apart from one another even though:

(1) they reside under the same roof; or

(2) the separation is pursuant to an order of a court.

(d) Marriage contracts may be annulled in the following cases:

(1) where such marriage was contracted while either of the parties thereto had a former spouse living, unless the former marriage had been lawfully dissolved;

(2) where such marriage was contracted during the insanity of either party (unless there has been voluntary cohabitation after the discovery of the insanity);

(3) where such marriage was procured by fraud or coercion;

(4) where either party was matrimonially incapacitated at the time of marriage without the knowledge of the other and has continued to be so incapacitated; or

(5) where either of the parties had not attained the age of legal consent to the contract of marriage (unless there has been voluntary cohabitation after attaining the age of legal consent), but in such cases only at the suit of the party who had not attained such age.

(e) Domestic partnerships registered under § 32-702(a) or relationships recognized under § 32-702(i) may be terminated by judicial decree or judgment.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 560, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Sept. 29, 1965, 79 Stat. 889, Pub. L. 89-217, § 2; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 102, 23 DCR 8737; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 10(f), 45 DCR 745; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(b), 49 DCR 7827; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 20(a), 55 DCR 6758; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 2(a), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-904.

1973 Ed., § 16-904.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-207, in subsec. (b), made nonsubstantive changes in pars. (1) and (2), and repealed pars. (3) and (4).

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (d)(1), substituted “spouse” for “wife or husband”.

Cross References

Nonresident and absent defendants, service of process by publication, see § 13-336.


§ 16–905. Revocation and enlargement of decree of legal separation.

(a) The court may revoke its decree of legal separation at any time, upon the joint application of the parties to be discharged from the operation of the decree.

(b) The court may enlarge its decree of legal separation to an absolute divorce upon application of the party to whom the decree of legal separation was granted, a copy of which application shall be duly served upon the adverse party, if the court finds on the basis of affidavits that no reconciliation has taken place or is probable and that a separation has continued voluntarily and without interruption for a six-month period or without interruption for a period of one year.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 561; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 103, 23 DCR 8737; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(c), 49 DCR 7827.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-905.

1973 Ed., § 16-905.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-207, in subsec. (a), substituted “legal separation” for “divorce from bed and board”.


§ 16–906. Causes for absolute divorce arising after decree for separation.

Where a legal separation has been decreed the court may afterwards decree an absolute divorce between the parties for any cause arising since the first decree and sufficient to entitle the complaining party to the second decree.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 561, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(d), 49 DCR 7827.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-906.

1973 Ed., § 16-906.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-207 substituted “legal separation” for “divorce from bed and board”.


§ 16–907. Parent and child relationship defined.

(a) The term “legitimate” or “legitimated” means that the parent-child relationship exists for all rights, privileges, duties, and obligations under the laws of the District of Columbia.

(b) The term “born out of wedlock” solely describes the circumstances that a child has been born to parents who, at the time of its birth, were not married to each other. The term “born in wedlock” solely describes the circumstances that a child has been born to parents who, at the time of its birth, were married to each other.

(c) A child born to parents in a domestic partnership shall be treated for all legal purposes as a child born in wedlock. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “domestic partnership” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(4), but shall exclude a domestic partnership where a domestic partner is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle of a woman who gives birth to a child.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 561; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 104, 23 DCR 8737; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 18-33, § 3(b), 56 DCR 4269.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-907.

1973 Ed., § 16-907.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-33 added subsec. (c).


§ 16–908. Relationship not dependent on marriage or domestic partnership.

A child is the legitimate child of any parent under which a parent-child relationship is established pursuant to § 16-909, and is the legitimate relative of its parents’ relatives by blood or adoption and entitled to all rights, privileges, duties, and obligations under the laws of the District of Columbia.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 561; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 105, 23 DCR 8737; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 18-33, § 3(c), 56 DCR 4269.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-908.

1973 Ed., § 16-908.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-33 rewrote the section, which had read as follows: “A child born in wedlock or born out of wedlock is the legitimate child of its father and mother and is the legitimate relative of its father’s and mother’s relatives by blood or adoption.”


§ 16–909. Proof of child’s relationship to parents.

(a) A father-child relationship is established by an adjudication of a man’s parentage, by operation of subsection (e) of this section, or by an unrebutted presumption under this subsection. There shall be a presumption that a man is the father of a child:

(1) if he and the child’s mother are or have been married, or in a domestic partnership, at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception and birth, and the child is born during the marriage or domestic partnership, or within 300 days after the termination of marital cohabitation by reason of death, annulment, divorce, or separation ordered by a court, or within 300 days after the termination of the domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e); or

(2) if, prior to the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother have attempted to marry, and some form of marriage has been performed in apparent compliance with law, though such attempted marriage is or might be declared void for any reason, and the child is born during such attempted marriage, or within 300 days after the termination of such attempted marital cohabitation by reason of death, annulment, divorce, or separation ordered by a court; or

(3) if, after the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother marry or attempt to marry, (with the attempt involving some form of marriage ceremony that has been performed in apparent compliance with law), though such attempted marriage is or might be declared void for any reason, and he has acknowledged the child to be his; or

(4) if the putative father has acknowledged paternity in writing.

(a-1)(1) A mother-child relationship is established by a woman having given birth to a child, by an adjudication of a woman’s parentage, by operation of subsection (e) of this section, or by an unrebutted presumption under paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(2) There shall be a presumption that a woman is the mother of a child if she and the child’s mother are or have been married, or in a domestic partnership, at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception or birth, and the child is born during the marriage or domestic partnership, or within 300 days after the termination of marital cohabitation by reason of death, annulment, divorce, or separation ordered by a court, or within 300 days after the termination of the domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e).

(b)(1) A presumption created by subsection (a)(1) through (4) of this section may be overcome upon proof by clear and convincing evidence, in a proceeding instituted within the time provided in § 16-2342(c) or (d), that the presumed parent is not the child’s genetic parent. The Court shall try the question of parentage, and may determine that the presumed parent is the child’s parent, notwithstanding evidence that the presumed parent is not the child’s genetic parent, after giving due consideration to:

(A) Whether the conduct of the mother or the presumed parent should preclude that party from denying parentage;

(B) The child’s interests; and

(C) The duration and stability of the relationship between the child, the presumed parent, and the genetic parent.

(2) If questioned, the presumption created by subsection (a-1)(2) that a child born to the mother is the child of the mother’s female domestic partner or spouse may be overcome pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection or upon proof by clear and convincing evidence that the presumed parent did not hold herself out as a parent of the child.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision in this title, when a child has both a presumed parent and a parent established by a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, pursuant to § 16-909.01(a)(1), the Court shall determine parentage after giving due consideration to the child’s interests and the duration and stability of the relationship between the child, the presumed parent, and the acknowledged parent.

(b-1) When a child has no presumed parent under subsection (a)(1) through (4) of this section or under subsection (a-1)(2) of this section, a conclusive presumption of parentage shall be created:

(1) Upon a result and an affidavit from a laboratory of a genetic test of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by accreditation bodies designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is performed by a laboratory approved by such a body indicating a 99% probability that the person is the genetic parent of the child; or

(2) If the father has acknowledged paternity in writing as provided in section 16-909.01(a)(1).

(b-2)(1) Subject to the requirements of this section, the court may issue a judgment adjudicating the parentage of a child born to parents who reside outside of the District of Columbia in a proceeding to determine parentage, pursuant to § 16-2342, if:

(A) The child was born in the District of Columbia;

(B) Both individuals seeking a judgment adjudicating parentage have a legal relationship with the child through a presumption of parentage under this section or meet the requirements of parentage in subsection (e) of this section; and

(C) Both parents submit to the jurisdiction of the District by consent in a record, by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive document having the effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction.

(2) Upon the determination of parentage under this subsection, the court shall issue a judgment adjudicating the parentage of the child.

(3) This subsection shall apply retroactively to all children born in the District of Columbia on or after July 18, 2009.

(c) The parent-child relationship shall be conclusively established:

(1) Upon a determination of the parentage of a child by the following:

(A) The Superior Court of the District of Columbia under the provisions of subchapter II of Chapter 23 of this title or subsection (b) of this section;

(B) Any other court of competent jurisdiction;

(C) The IV-D agency of another state, in compliance with jurisdictional and procedural requirements of that state; or

(D) Any entity of another state authorized to determine parentage, in compliance with jurisdictional and procedural requirements of that state;

(2) When a child has no presumed parent under subsection (a)(1) through (4) of this section or under subsection (a-1)(2) of this section, by a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to section 16-909.01(a)(1), unless either signatory rescinds the acknowledgment pursuant to section 16-909.01(a-1); or

(3) By a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity in another state pursuant to the laws and procedures of that state, unless either signatory rescinds the acknowledgment pursuant to the laws and procedures of that state.

(c-1) A parent-child relationship that has been established pursuant to subsection (b-1)(1) of this section may be challenged upon the same grounds and through the same procedures as are applicable to a final judgment of the Superior Court. A parent-child relationship that has been established pursuant to subsection (b-1)(2) of this section or section 16-909.01(a)(1) may be challenged in the Superior Court after the rescission period provided by section 16-909.01(a-1) through the same procedures as are applicable to a final judgment of the Superior Court, but only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof upon the challenging party. The legal responsibilities (including child support obligations) of any signatory arising from the acknowledgment of parentage may not be suspended during the challenge, except for good cause shown.

(d) The parent-child relationship between an adoptive parent and a child may be established conclusively by proof of adoption.

(e)(1) A person who consents to the artificial insemination of a woman as provided in subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph with the intent to be the parent of her child, is conclusively established as a parent of the resulting child.

(A) Consent by a woman, and a person who intends to be a parent of a child born to the woman by artificial insemination, shall be in writing signed by the woman and the intended parent.

(B) Failure of a person to sign a consent required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, before or after the birth of the child, shall not preclude a finding of intent to be a parent of the child if the woman and the person resided together in the same household with the child and openly held the child out as their own.

(2) A donor of semen to a person for artificial insemination, other than the donor’s spouse or domestic partner, is not a parent of a child thereby conceived unless the donor and the person agree in writing that said donor shall be a parent. Notwithstanding any other provision in this title, genetic test results shall not establish parentage of a semen donor unless:

(A) The donor of semen is the spouse or domestic partner of the child’s mother; or

(B) The donor and the child’s mother agree in writing that said donor shall be a parent.

(f) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3), but shall exclude a domestic partner who is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle of a woman who gives birth to a child.

(2) “Domestic partnership” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(4), but shall exclude a domestic partnership where a domestic partner is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle of a woman who gives birth to a child.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 561; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 106, 23 DCR 8737; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-166, § 33(a)(3), 33 DCR 6710; June 18, 1991, D.C. Law 9-5, § 2(c), 38 DCR 2717; Aug. 17, 1991, D.C. Law 9-39, § 2(c), 38 DCR 4970; Mar. 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-223, § 2(b), 41 DCR 8051; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 106(c), 48 DCR 1270; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 18-33, § 3(d), 56 DCR 4269; Dec. 10, 2009, D.C. Law 18-88, § 402, 56 DCR 7413; Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-233, § 2(b), 59 DCR 14769; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 2(b), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-909.

1973 Ed., § 16-909.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-205, § 16-908, § 16-909.01, § 16-2342, § 16-2343, § 16-2343.01, § 16-2345, § 16-2349.01, and § 16-4601.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269 rewrote subsec. (b-1)(1), which formerly read:

“(1) Upon a genetic test result and an affidavit from a laboratory, certified by the American Association of Blood Banks, indicating a 99% probability that the putative father is the father of the child; or”

rewrote subsec. (c) which formerly read:

“(c) Upon the entry of a final judgment determining the parentage of a child by the Superior Court under the provisions of section 16-2341 et seq., section 16-909(b) or by any other court of competent jurisdiction upon a genetic test result and affidavit as provided in subsection (b-1)(1) of this section, or if the father has acknowledged paternity as provided in section 16-909.01(a), the parent-child relationship is conclusively established. A parent-child relationship that has been established pursuant to subsection (b-1)(1) of this section or section 16-909.01(a)(1) may be challenged upon the same grounds and through the same procedures as are applicable to a final judgment of the Superior Court.”

and added subsec. (c-1).

D.C. Law 18-33 rewrote the section.

D.C. Law 18-88 rewrote subsec. (a-1)(2); and, in subsec. (e)(2), inserted “A donor of semen to a person for artificial insemination, other than the donor’s spouse or domestic partner, is not a parent of a child thereby conceived unless the donor and the person agree in writing that said donor shall be a parent.”. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a-1)(2) read as follows: “(2) For a child born to a mother in a domestic partnership, there shall be a presumption that the female domestic partner of the child’s mother is a parent of the child if the mother and the mother’s domestic partner are or have been in a domestic partnership at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception and birth, and the child is born during the domestic partnership, or within 300 days after the termination of the domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702(d).”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-233 substituted “domestic partner or spouse” for “domestic partner” in (b)(2); and added (b-2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 5(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(c) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 106(c) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-181, August 6, 2009, 56 DCR 6903).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-227, October 21, 2009, 56 DCR 8668).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(b) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(c) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(c) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(c) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue rules: See note to § 16-909.02.


§ 16–909.01. Establishment of paternity by voluntary acknowledgment and based on genetic test results.

(a) Paternity may be established by:

(1) A written statement of the father and mother signed under oath (which may include signature in the presence of a notary) that acknowledges paternity; provided, that before the parents sign the acknowledgment, both have been given written and oral notice of the alternatives to, legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing the acknowledgment. (Oral notice may be given through videotape or audiotape.) The acknowledgment shall include the full name, the social security number, and date of birth of the mother, father, and child, the addresses of the mother and father, the birthplace of the child, an explanation of the legal consequences of the affidavit, a statement indicating that both parents understand their rights, responsibilities, and the alternatives and consequences of signing the affidavit, the place the affidavit was completed, signature lines for the parents, and any other data elements required by federal law. Nothing in this paragraph shall affect the validity of a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity executed before December 23, 1997, or preclude the submission of an acknowledgment of paternity that does not comply with the requirements of this paragraph as evidence of paternity in a judicial or administrative proceeding; or

(2) A result and an affidavit from a laboratory of a genetic test of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by accreditation bodies designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is performed by a laboratory approved by such a body, that affirms at least a 99% probability that the putative father is the father of the child.

(a-1) A signatory to a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section may rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of 60 days or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child in which the signatory is a party.

(b) When a child has no presumed parent under § 16-909(a)(1) through (4) or § 16-909(a-1)(2), an acknowledgment in accordance with subsection (a)(1) of this section, which has not been rescinded pursuant to subsection (a-1) of this section, or a genetic test and affidavit that meet the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section shall legally establish the parent-child relationship between the father and the child for all rights, privileges, duties, and obligations under the laws of the District of Columbia. The acknowledgment or genetic test and affidavit shall be admissible as evidence of paternity.

(c) A public or private agency or institution that operates in the District of Columbia shall accept as adequate proof of paternity a birth certificate issued by the District of Columbia after the effective date of the District of Columbia Paternity Establishment Temporary Act of 1991 [June 18, 1991] or other evidence that the requirements of subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section have occurred.

(d) If a child has a presumed parent, in the absence of an acknowledgment, or if the probability of paternity shown by a genetic test is less than 99%, paternity may be established as otherwise provided in this chapter.


(June 18, 1991, D.C. Law 9-5, § 2(d), 38 DCR 2717; Aug. 17, 1991, D.C. Law 9-39, § 2(d), 38 DCR 4970; Mar. 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-223, § 2(c), 41 DCR 8051; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-110, § 24(a), 43 DCR 530; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 18(c), 44 DCR 1271; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269,§ 106(d), 48 DCR 1270; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 18-33, § 3(e), 56 DCR 4269.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-909.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-909, § 16-2342.01, § 16-2343, § 16-2345, and § 46-304.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269 rewrote subsec. (a) which formerly read: “(a) Paternity may be established by:”; added subsec. (a-1); in subsec. (b), struck “ section 16-909.1(a)(1)” and inserted “subsection (a)(1) of this section, which has not been rescinded pursuant to subsection (a-1) of this section,”, struck “ section 16-909.1(a)(2)” and inserted “subsection (a)(2) of this section”; and, in subsec. (c), struck “ section 16-909.1(a)(1) or (a) (2)” and inserted “subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section”.

D.C. Law 18-33, in subsec. (b), substituted “When a child has no presumed parent under § 16-909(a)(1) through (4) or § 16-909(a-1)(2), an acknowledgment” for “An acknowledgment”; and, in subsec. (d), substituted “If a child has a presumed parent, in the absence” for “In the absence”.

Cross References

Tests to establish parentage, see § 16-2343.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section 16-909.1 1981 Ed., see § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 106(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue rules: See note to § 16-909.02.

Section 28(b)(1) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-901.1 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-901.01.


§ 16–909.02. Full faith and credit to parentage determinations by other states.

The District of Columbia government shall give full faith and credit to the determinations of parentage made by other states, whether established through voluntary acknowledgment or through an administrative or judicial process.


(Mar. 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-223, § 2(d), 41 DCR 8051; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 18-33, § 3(f), 56 DCR 4269.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-909.2.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-33 substituted “parentage” for “paternity”.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 102(b) of the Paternity Acknowledgment and Gas Station Advisory Board Re-establishment Temporary Act of 1996 (D.C. Law 11-206, April 9, 1997, law notification 44 DCR 2401).

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue rules: Section 3 of D.C. Law 10-223 provided that, pursuant to Subtitle I of Chapter 15 of Title 1, the Mayor may issue rules to implement the provisions of the act.

Section 28(b)(1) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-901.2 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-901.02.


§ 16–909.03. Voluntary paternity acknowledgment program for birthing hospitals.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term “birthing hospital” means a hospital that has an obstetric care unit or provides obstetric services, or a birthing center.

(b)(1) Each public and private birthing hospital in the District of Columbia shall operate a program that, immediately before and after the birth of a child, provides to each unmarried woman who gives birth at the hospital and the alleged putative father, if present in the hospital:

(A) Written materials concerning paternity establishment;

(B) Forms necessary to acknowledge paternity voluntarily that meet the federal requirements;

(C) A written and oral description (the oral description may be videotaped or audiotaped) of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from, signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity;

(D) Written notice that a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is not effectuated unless the mother and putative father each signs the form under oath and a notary authenticates the signatures;

(E) The opportunity to speak, either by telephone or in person, with hospital or IV-D agency staff who are trained to clarify information and answer questions about paternity establishment;

(F) Access to the services of a notary on the premises of the birthing hospital; and

(G) The opportunity to acknowledge paternity voluntarily in the hospital.

(2) The Mayor shall provide to each birthing hospital the materials described in paragraph (1)(A) through (D) of this subsection, in sufficient amounts to be distributed to each unmarried mother giving birth in the hospital and to each putative father present in the hospital.

(c) The birthing hospital shall transmit each completed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form to the Registrar of Vital Records within 14 days of completion. The Registrar shall promptly record identifying information from the form and permit the IV-D agency timely access to the identifying information and any other documentation recorded from the form that the IV-D agency needs to determine if a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity has been recorded and to seek a support order on the basis of the recorded voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

(d) The Mayor shall provide to the staff of each birthing hospital training, guidance, and written instructions necessary to operate the paternity acknowledgment program required by this section.

(e) The Mayor shall assess the program of each birthing hospital each year.


(Feb. 27, 1998, D.C. Law 12-54, § 2, 44 DCR 6231; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 106(e), 48 DCR 1270.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-909.3.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-909.05, § 16-2342.01, and § 16-2345.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269 rewrote this section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of section, see § 2(b) of the Paternity Acknowledgment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-423, October 28, 1996, 43 DCR 6136), § 2 (b) of the Paternity Acknowledgment Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-480, December 30, 1996, 44 DCR 212),§ 2(b) of the Paternity Acknowledgment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-20, March 3, 1997, 44 DCR 1765), § 2(b) of the Paternity Acknowledgment Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-181, October 30, 1997, 44 DCR 6953, repealed by D.C. Act 12-222, § 14(a)), and § 2(b) of the Paternity Acknowledgment Congressional Recess Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-253, January 29, 1998, 45 DCR 903).

For temporary addition of section, see § 102 of the Paternity Acknowledgment and Gas Station Advisory Board Re-establishment Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-356, August 8, 1996, 43 DCR 4561).

For temporary designation of title I of the act as the Paternity Acknowledgment Emergency Act of 1996, see § 101 of the Paternity Acknowledgment and Gas Station Advisory Board Re-establishment Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-356, August 8, 1996, 43 DCR 4561).

Section 3 of D.C. Act 11-423, D.C. Act 11-480, and D.C. Act 12-20 provided that the enactment “will ensure that the District government remains eligible for approximately $13 million in federal funds used in the collection of child support payments from noncustodial parents for the care of children who reside in the District.”.

For temporary addition of section, see § 5(e) of the Child Support Welfare and Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(e) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(e) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(e) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(e) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary addition of § 16-909.4 1981 Ed., see § 5(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114) and § 5(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923).

For temporary repeal of § 16-909.03, see § 14(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary addition of § 16-909.4 1981 Ed. and 16-909.5 1981 Ed., see § 5(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(e) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary addition of § 16-909.4 1981 Ed. and 16-909.5 1981 Ed., see § 105(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(e) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606). For temporary (90-day) addition of §§ 16-909.4 1981 Ed. and 16-909.5 1981 Ed., see § 105(f) of the same Act.

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678). For temporary (90-day) addition of §§ 16-909.4 1981 Ed. and 16-909.5 1981 Ed., see § 105(f) of the same Act.

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(b) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581). For temporary (90-day) addition of §§ 16-909.4 1981 Ed. and 16-909.5 1981 Ed., see § 105(f) of the same Act.

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(e) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 106(e) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(e) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(e) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(e) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 201(b) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-238, March 25, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2751).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 201(b) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-84, March 10, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3376).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section and § 16-909.4 1981 Ed, see § 5(b) and (e) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) addition of § 16-909.4 1981 Ed and § 16-909.5 1981 Ed, see § 5(f) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) addition of § 16-909.4 1981 Ed and § 16-909.5 1981 Ed, see § 105(f) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

Editor's Notes

Section 28(b)(1) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-901.3 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-901.03.


§ 16–909.04. Voluntary paternity acknowledgment program for birth records agency.

(a) The Registrar of Vital Records shall offer to any person seeking to file or amend a birth certificate that does not include the names of 2 parents:

(1) Written materials concerning paternity establishment;

(2) Forms necessary to acknowledge paternity voluntarily that meet the federal requirements;

(3) A written and oral description of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from, signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (the oral description may be videotaped or audiotaped);

(4) Written notice that a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is not effectuated unless the mother and putative father each signs the form under oath and a notary authenticates the signatures;

(5) The services of a notary on the premises;

(6) The opportunity to speak, by telephone or in person, with staff of the IV-D agency or Registrar who are trained to clarify information and answer questions about paternity establishment; and

(7) The opportunity to acknowledge paternity voluntarily at the birth records agency.

(b) The Registrar of Vital Records shall establish procedures for the recording in the records of the Registrar, and for the transmittal to the IV-D agency of completed voluntary acknowledgments of paternity, and of information contained in an acknowledgment that may be used in the establishment or enforcement of a support order.


(Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 106(f), 48 DCR 1270; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 18-33, § 3(g), 56 DCR 4269.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-33 substituted “the names of 2 parents” for “a father’s name”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 105(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 106(f) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 105(f) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

Editor's Notes

Section 28(b)(1) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-901.4 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-901.04.


§ 16–909.05. Mayor authorized to designate other sites for paternity acknowledgment program.

The Mayor is authorized to establish voluntary paternity establishment services at entities other than hospitals, or the Vital Records Office, by publishing a notice of such location in the D.C. Register. The Mayor may only designate entities that meet the applicable federal requirements and comply with the same requirements that apply to birthing hospitals as set forth in section 16-909.03 .


(Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 106(f), 48 DCR 1270.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 105(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 106(f) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 105(f) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

Editor's Notes

Section 28(b)(1) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-901.5 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-901.05.


§ 16–910. Assignment and equitable distribution of property.

Upon entry of a final decree of legal separation, annulment, or divorce, or upon the termination of a domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e) and the filing of a petition for relief available under this section, in the absence of a valid antenuptial or postnuptial agreement resolving all issues related to the property of the parties, the court shall:

(a) assign to each party his or her sole and separate property acquired prior to the marriage or domestic partnership, and his or her sole and separate property acquired during the marriage or domestic partnership by gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and any increase thereof, or property acquired in exchange therefor; and

(b) value and distribute all other property and debt accumulated during the marriage or domestic partnership that has not been addressed in a valid antenuptial or postnuptial agreement or a decree of legal separation, regardless of whether title is held individually or by the parties in a form of joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties, in a manner that is equitable, just, and reasonable, after considering all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

(1) the duration of the marriage or domestic partnership;

(2) the age, health, occupation, amount, and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, assets, debts, and needs of each of the parties;

(3) provisions for the custody of minor children;

(4) whether the distribution is in lieu of or in addition to alimony;

(5) each party’s obligation from a prior marriage, a prior domestic partnership, or for other children;

(6) the opportunity of each party for future acquisition of assets and income;

(7) each party’s contribution as a homemaker or otherwise to the family unit;

(8) each party’s contribution to the education of the other party which enhanced the other party’s earning ability;

(9) each party’s increase or decrease in income as a result of the marriage, the domestic partnership, or duties of homemaking and child care;

(10) each party’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation, appreciation, dissipation, or depreciation in value of the assets which are subject to distribution, the taxability of these assets, and whether the asset was acquired or the debt incurred after separation;

(11) the effects of taxation on the value of the assets subject to distribution; and

(12) the circumstances which contributed to the estrangement of the parties.

(c) The Court is not required to value a pension or annuity if it enters an order distributing future periodic payments.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 561, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 107, 23 DCR 8737; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(e), 49 DCR 7827; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 4(d), 53 DCR 1035; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 131(b), 53 DCR 6794; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 20(b), 55 DCR 6758; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 2(c), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-910.

1973 Ed., § 16-910.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-604.13.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-207, in the section heading, substituted “Assignment and equitable distribution of property.” for “Dissolution of property rights; jurisdiction of court.”; rewrote the introductory paragraph and subsec. (b); and added subsec. (c). The introductory paragraph and subsec. (b) had read, respectively, as follows: “Upon the entry of a final decree of annulment or divorce in the absence of a valid ante-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement or a decree of legal separation disposing the property of the spouses, the court shall:” “(b) distribute all other property accumulated during the marriage, regardless of whether title is held individually or by the parties in a form of joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties, in a manner that is equitable, just and reasonable, after considering all relevant factors including, but not limited to: the duration of the marriage, any prior marriage of either party, the age, health, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, assets, debts, and needs of each of the parties, provisions for the custody of minor children, whether the distribution is in lieu of or in addition to maintenance, and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of assets and income. The court shall also consider each party’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation, appreciation, dissipation or depreciation in value of the assets subject to distribution under this subsection, and each party’s contribution as a homemaker or to the family unit.”

D.C. Law 16-79, in lead-in language, substituted “or divorce, or upon the termination of a domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702 and the filing of a petition for relief under this section,” for “or divorce,”; in subsec. (a), substituted “marriage or domestic partnership” for “marriage”; in the lead-in language of subsec. (b), substituted “marriage or domestic partnership” for “marriage”; in par. (b)(1), substituted “marriage or domestic partnership;” for “marriage;”; in par. (b)(5), substituted “marriage, a prior domestic partnership,” for “marriage”; and in par. (b)(9), substituted “marriage, the domestic partnership,” for “marriage”.

D.C. Law 16-191, in the introductory language, inserted “available” following “relief”.

D.C. Law 17-231, in the lead-in language, substituted “§ 32-702(d)” for “§ 32-702”.


§ 16–911. Pendente lite relief.

(a) During the pendency of an action for legal separation, divorce, the termination of a domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e), where one of the domestic partners has filed a petition for relief available under this section, or an action by a spouse to declare the marriage null and void, where the nullity is denied by the other spouse, the court may:

(1) require the spouse or domestic partner to pay pendente lite alimony to the other spouse or domestic partner; require one party to pay pendente lite child support, including health insurance coverage, cash medical support, or both, for his or her minor children committed to another party’s care; and require the spouse or domestic partner to pay suit money, including counsel fees, to enable such other spouse to conduct the case. The Court may enforce any such order by attachment, garnishment, or imprisonment for disobedience, and all support orders shall be enforceable by withholding as provided in § 46-207 and § 46-251.07. In determining pendente lite alimony for a spouse or domestic partner, the Court shall consider the factors set forth in § 16-913(d) and may make an award of pendente lite alimony retroactive to the date of the filing of the pleading that requests alimony.

(2) enjoin any disposition of a spouse’s or domestic partner’s property to avoid the collection of the allowances so required;

(3) if a spouse or domestic partner fails or refuses to pay the alimony or suit money, sequestrate his or her property and apply the income thereof to such objects;

(4) if a party under court order to make payments under this section is in arrears, order the party to make an assignment of part of his or her salary, wages, earnings or other income to the person entitled to receive the payments; and

(5) determine, in accordance with section 16-914, the care and custody of a minor child or children pending final determination of those issues.

(a-1) Repealed.

(a-2) Repealed.

(b) The attachment, garnishment, or assignment under paragraphs (1) and (4) of subsection (a) is binding on the employer, trustee, or other payor of salary, wages, earnings, or other income. No employer shall discharge or otherwise discipline an employee because of such attachment, garnishment, or assignment.

(c) The court may order, at any time, that maintenance or support payments be made to the Collection and Disbursement Unit, as defined in section 46-201(2A) [now § 46-201(3)], for remittance to the person entitled to receive the payments, and shall order that such payments be made to the Collection and Disbursement Unit when the Collection and Disbursement Unit is responsible for collecting and disbursing these payments under section 46-202.01.

(d) The Court may order any other appropriate pendente lite relief.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 561, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 14, 23 DCR 2544; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 108, 23 DCR 8737; Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-154, § 2(a), 41 DCR 4870; May 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-255, § 14(b), 41 DCR 5193; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-110,§ 24(b), 43 DCR 530; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-112, § 2(a), 43 DCR 574; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 18(d), 44 DCR 1271; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-241, § 10, 46 DCR 905; Apr. 12, 2000, D.C. Law 13-91, § 142(a), 47 DCR 520; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(f), 49 DCR 7827; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-205, § 3402, 51 DCR 8441; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 4(e), 53 DCR 1035; May 12, 2006, D.C. Law 16-100, § 2(f), 53 DCR 1886; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 131(b), 53 DCR 6794; Mar. 20, 2008, D.C. Law 17-128, § 2(b), 55 DCR 1525; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 20(c), 55 DCR 6758; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-183, § 2(b), 61 DCR 11834; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 2(d), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-911.

1973 Ed., § 16-911.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-831.03, § 16-916, and § 16-4806.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-91, in subpar. (a)(5)(O), substituted “or Program on Work” for “Program on Work”.

D.C. Law 14-207, in the section heading, substituted “Pendente lite relief.” for “Alimony pendente lite; suit money; enforcement; custody of children.”; in subsec. (a), rewrote pars. (1) and (5); repealed subsecs. (a-1) and (a-2); rewrote subsec. (c); and added subsec. (d).

D.C. Law 15-205 rewrote subsec. (c) which had read as follows: “(c) The Court may order, at any time, that maintenance or support payments be made to the clerk of the court for remittance to the person entitled to receive the payments, and shall order that such payments be made to the clerk of the court when required to implement withholding under section 46-207.”

D.C. Law 16-79, in par. (a)(1)(A), substituted “spouse or domestic partner” for “husband or wife”; in par. (a)(1)(B), substituted “spouse or domestic partner” for “spouse”; in par. (a)(2), substituted “spouse or domestic partner’s” for “spouse’s”; in par. (a)(3), substituted “spouse or domestic partner” for “spouse”; and rewrote the lead-in language to subsec. (a), which had read as follows: “(a) During the pendency of an action for divorce, or an action by the husband or wife to declare the marriage null and void, where the nullity is denied by the other spouse, the court may:”.

D.C. Law 16-100, in par. (a)(1), substituted “and all support orders shall be enforceable by withholding as provide in section 46-207” for “and shall enforce support orders through withholding as required under section 46-207”.

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsec. (a), inserted “available” following “relief” in the introductory language, and substituted “spouse’s or domestic partner’s” for “spouse or domestic partner’s” in par. (2).

D.C. Law 17-128 rewrote subsec. (a)(1), which had read as follows: “(1) require the spouse or domestic partner to pay pendente lite alimony to the other spouse or domestic partner; require one party to pay pendente lite child support for his or her minor children committed to another party’s care; and require the spouse or domestic partner to pay suit money, including counsel fees, to enable such other spouse or domestic partner to conduct the case. The Court may enforce any such order by attachment, garnishment, or imprisonment for disobedience, and all support orders shall be enforceable by withholding as provide in section 46-207. In determining pendente lite alimony for a spouse or domestic partner, the Court shall consider the factors set forth in section 16-913(d) and may make an award of pendente lite alimony retroactive to the date of the filing of the pleading that requests alimony.”

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (a), substituted “§ 32-702(d)” for “§ 32-702”.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-183 added “legal separation” in the introductory language of (a).

Cross References

Child support enforcement, attachment or garnishment of wages of District of Columbia employees, see § 1-507.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 5(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 10 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-372, June 9, 1998, 45 DCR 4270), § 10 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-425, July 31, 1998, 45 DCR 5682), § 10 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-552, December 24, 1998, 46 DCR 521), § 10 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-19, February 17, 1999, 46 DCR 2492).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(g) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3402 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-486, August 2, 2004, 51 DCR 8236).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3402 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(f) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-167, July 26, 2005, 52 DCR 7648).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(f) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-200, November 17, 2005, 52 DCR 10490).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(g) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(g) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 10 of Self-Sufficiency Promotion Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-230, April 20, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 4143).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(g) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(g) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(f) of the Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Temporary Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Law 16-42, December 10, 2005, law notification 52 DCR 11038).

Short Title

Short title of subtitle D of title III of Law 15-205: Section 3401 of D.C. Law 15-205 provided that subtitle D of title III of the act may be cited as the Child Support Transfer of Functions Amendment Act of 2004.


§ 16–912. Permanent alimony; enforcement. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 562, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 15, 23 DCR 2544; Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 803(b)(2), 48 DCR 2087; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(g), 49 DCR 7827.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-912.

1973 Ed., § 16-912.

Cross References

Child support enforcement, attachment or garnishment of wages of District of Columbia employees, see § 1-507.


§ 16–913. Alimony.

(a) When a divorce or legal separation is granted, or when a termination of a domestic partnership becomes effective under § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e) and one partner has filed a petition for relief available under this section, the Court may require either party to pay alimony to the other party if it seems just and proper.

(b) The award of alimony may be indefinite or term-limited and structured as appropriate to the facts. The Court shall determine the amount and the time period for the award of alimony.

(c) An award of alimony may be retroactive to the date of the filing of the pleading that requests alimony.

(d) In making an award of alimony, the Court shall consider all the relevant factors necessary for a fair and equitable award, including, but not limited to, the:

(1) ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting;

(2) time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to secure suitable employment;

(3) standard of living that the parties established during their marriage or domestic partnership, but giving consideration to the fact that there will be 2 households to maintain;

(4) duration of the marriage or domestic partnership;

(5) circumstances which contributed to the estrangement of the parties;

(6) age of each party;

(7) physical and mental condition of each party;

(8) ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting the needs of the other party; and

(9) financial needs and financial resources of each party, including:

(A) income;

(B) income from assets, both those that are the property of the marriage or domestic partnership and those that are not;

(C) potential income which may be imputed to non-income producing assets of a party;

(D) any previous award of child support in this case;

(E) the financial obligations of each party;

(F) the right of a party to receive retirement benefits; and

(G) the taxability or non-taxability of income.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 562, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 16(a), 23 DCR 2544; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(h), 49 DCR 7827; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 4(f), 53 DCR 1035; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 131(b), 53 DCR 6794; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 20(d), 55 DCR 6758; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 2(e), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-913.

1973 Ed., § 16-913.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-911.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-207 rewrote the section which had read as follows: “When a divorce is granted on the application of the husband or wife, the court may require him or her to pay alimony to the other spouse, if it seems just and proper.”

D.C. Law 16-79, in subsec. (a), substituted “divorce or legal separation is granted, or when a termination of a domestic partnership becomes effective under § 32-702 and one partner has filed a petition for relief under this section,” for “divorce or legal separation is granted,”; in par. (d)(3), substituted “marriage or domestic partnership” for “marriage”; in par. (d)(4), substituted “marriage or domestic partnership” for “marriage”; and in par. (d)(9)(B), substituted “both those that are the property of the marriage or domestic partnership and those that are not” for “both marital or non-marital”.

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsec. (a), inserted “available” following “relief”.

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (a), substituted “§ 32-702(d)” for “§ 32-702”.


§ 16–914. Custody of children.

(a)(1)(A) In any proceeding between parents in which the custody of a child is raised as an issue, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration. The race, color, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression of a party, in and of itself, shall not be a conclusive consideration. The Court shall make a determination as to the legal custody and the physical custody of a child. A custody order may include:

(i) sole legal custody;

(ii) sole physical custody;

(iii) joint legal custody;

(iv) joint physical custody; or

(v) any other custody arrangement the Court may determine is in the best interest of the child.

(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term:

(i) “Legal custody” means legal responsibility for a child. The term “legal custody” includes the right to make decisions regarding that child’s health, education, and general welfare, the right to access the child’s educational, medical, psychological, dental, or other records, and the right to speak with and obtain information regarding the child from school officials, health care providers, counselors, or other persons interacting with the child.

(ii) “Physical custody” means a child’s living arrangements. The term “physical custody” includes a child’s residency or visitation schedule.

(2) Unless the court determines that it is not in the best interest of the child, the court may issue an order that provides for frequent and continuing contact between each parent and the minor child or children and for the sharing of responsibilities of child-rearing and encouraging the love, affection, and contact between the minor child or children and the parents regardless of marital status. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child or children, except in instances where a judicial officer has found by a preponderance of the evidence that an intrafamily offense as defined in § 16-1001(8), an instance of child abuse as defined in section 102 of the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977, effective September 23, 1977 (D.C. Law 2-22; D.C. Official Code § 4-1301.02), an instance of child neglect as defined in section 2 of the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Children’s Trust Fund Act of 1993, effective October 5, 1993 (D.C. Law 10-56; D.C. Official Code § 4-1341.01), or where parental kidnapping as defined in D.C. Official Code section 16-1021 through section 16-1026 has occurred. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that joint custody is not in the best interest of the child or children if a judicial officer finds by a preponderance of the evidence that an intrafamily offense as defined in § 16-1001(8), an instance of child abuse as defined in section 102 of the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977, effective September 23, 1977 (D.C. Law 2-22; D.C. Official Code § 4-1301.02), an instance of child neglect as defined in section 2 of the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Children’s Trust Fund Act of 1993, effective October 5, 1993 (D.C. Law 10-56; D.C. Official Code § 4-1341.01), or where parental kidnapping as defined in D.C. Official Code section 16-1021 through section 16-1026 has occurred.

(3) In determining the care and custody of a child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration. To determine the best interest of the child, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

(A) the wishes of the child as to his or her custodian, where practicable;

(B) the wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to the child’s custody;

(C) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parent or parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may emotionally or psychologically affect the child’s best interest;

(D) the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;

(E) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;

(F) evidence of an intrafamily offense as defined in section 16-1001(5) [now § 16-1001(8)];

(G) the capacity of the parents to communicate and reach shared decisions affecting the child’s welfare;

(H) the willingness of the parents to share custody;

(I) the prior involvement of each parent in the child’s life;

(J) the potential disruption of the child’s social and school life;

(K) the geographic proximity of the parental homes as this relates to the practical considerations of the child’s residential schedule;

(L) the demands of parental employment;

(M) the age and number of children;

(N) the sincerity of each parent’s request;

(O) the parent’s ability to financially support a joint custody arrangement;

(P) the impact on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or Program on Work, Employment, and Responsibilities, and medical assistance; and

(Q) the benefit to the parents.

(a-1) For the purposes of this section, if the judicial officer finds by a preponderance of evidence that a contestant for custody has committed an intrafamily offense, any determination that custody or visitation is to be granted to the abusive parent shall be supported by a written statement by the judicial officer specifying factors and findings which support that determination. In determining visitation arrangements, if the judicial officer finds that an intrafamily offense has occurred, the judicial officer shall only award visitation if the judicial officer finds that the child and custodial parent can be adequately protected from harm inflicted by the other party. The party found to have committed an intrafamily offense has the burden of proving that visitation will not endanger the child or significantly impair the child’s emotional development.

(a-2) Repealed.

(a-3)(1) A minor parent, or the parent, guardian, or other legal representative of a minor parent on the minor parent’s behalf, may initiate a custody proceeding under this chapter.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “minor” means a person under 18 years of age.

(b) Notice of a custody proceeding shall be given to the child’s parents, guardian, or other custodian. The court, upon a showing of good cause, may permit intervention by any interested party.

(c) In any custody proceeding under this chapter, the Court may order each parent to submit a detailed parenting plan which shall delineate each parent’s position with respect to the scheduling and allocation of rights and responsibilities that will best serve the interest of the minor child or children. The parenting plan may include, but shall not be limited to, provisions for:

(1) the residence of the child or children;

(2) the financial support based on the needs of the child and the actual resources of the parent;

(3) visitation;

(4) holidays, birthdays, and vacation visitation;

(5) transportation of the child between the residences;

(6) education;

(7) religious training, if any;

(8) access to the child’s educational, medical, psychiatric, and dental treatment records;

(9) except in emergencies, the responsibility for medical, psychiatric, and dental treatment decisions;

(10) communication between the child and the parents; and

(11) the resolution of conflict, such as a recognized family counseling or mediation service, before application to the Court to resolve a conflict.

(d) In making its custody determination, the Court:

(1) shall consider the parenting plans submitted by the parents in evaluating the factors set forth in subsection (a)(3) of this section in fashioning a custody order;

(2) shall designate the parent(s) who will make the major decisions concerning the health, safety, and welfare of the child that need immediate attention; and

(3) may order either or both parents to attend parenting classes.

(e) Joint custody shall not eliminate the responsibility for child support in accordance with the applicable child support guideline as set forth in § 16-916.01.

(f)(1) An award of custody may be modified or terminated upon the motion of one or both parents, or on the Court’s own motion, upon a determination that there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances and that the modification or termination is in the best interest of the child.

(2) When a motion to modify custody is filed, the burden of proof is on the party seeking a change, and the standard of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.

(3) The provisions of this chapter shall apply to motions to modify or terminate any award of custody filed after April 18, 1996.

(g) The Court, for good cause and upon its own motion, may appoint a guardian ad litem or an attorney, or both, to represent the minor child’s interests.

(h) The Court shall enter an order for any custody arrangement that is agreed to by both parents unless clear and convincing evidence indicates that the arrangement is not in the best interest of the minor child.

(i) An objection by one parent to any custody arrangement shall not be the sole basis for refusing the entry of an order that the Court determines is in the best interest of the minor child.

(j) The Court shall place on the record the specific factors and findings which justify any custody arrangement not agreed to by both parents.

(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no person shall be granted legal custody or physical custody of, or visitation with, a child if the person has been convicted of first degree sexual abuse, second degree sexual abuse, or child sexual abuse, and the child was conceived as a result of that violation. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as abrogating or limiting the responsibility of a person described herein to pay child support.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 562, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 17, 23 DCR 2544; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 109, 23 DCR 8737; Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-154, § 2(b), 41 DCR 4870; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-112, § 2(b), 43 DCR 574; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-241, § 11, 46 DCR 905; Apr. 12, 2000, D.C. Law 13-91, § 142(b), 47 DCR 520; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(i), 49 DCR 7827; June 25, 2008, D.C. Law 17-177, § 10(b), 55 DCR 3696; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 3(a), 56; June 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-320, § 509, 60 DCR 3390.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-914.

1973 Ed., § 16-914.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-831.03 and § 16-911.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-91, in subpar. (a)(3)(P), substituted “or Program on Work” for “Program on Work”.

D.C. Law 14-207, in the section heading, substituted “Custody of children.” for “Retention of jurisdiction as to alimony and custody of children.”; in subsec. (a), rewrote par (1), and in par. (3), substituted “a child” for “infant children” and in subpar. (K) of par. (3), deleted “or children’s”; repealed subsec. (a-2); and added subsecs. (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), and (j).

D.C. Law 17-177, in subsec. (a)(1)(A), substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” for “or sexual orientation”.

D.C. Law 17-368, in subsec. (a)(2), substituted “§ 16-1001(8)” for “D.C. Official Code section 16-1001(5)” in two places; and added subsec. (a-3).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-320 added (k).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 5(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 11 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-372, June 9, 1998, 45 DCR 4270), § 11 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-425, July 31, 1998, 45 DCR 5682), § 11 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-552, December 24, 1998, 46 DCR 521), and § 11 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-19, February 17, 1999, 46 DCR 2492).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary addition of (k), see § 509 of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendments Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-599, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1017).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 509 of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-44, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5381, 20 DCSTAT 1281).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 11 of Self-Sufficiency Promotion Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-230, April 20, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 4143).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).


§ 16–914.01. Retention of jurisdiction as to alimony, custody of children, and child support.

After the issuance of a judgment, decree, or order granting custody, child support, or alimony, the Court retains jurisdiction for the entry of future orders modifying or terminating the initial judgment, decree, or order to the extent the retention of jurisdiction does not contravene other statutory provisions.


(Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(j), 49 DCR 7827.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-831.03.


§ 16–914.02. Child custody and visitation rights of parents during deployment for military service.

(a)(1) A deploying parent may file a motion with the court to request an expedited hearing for the purpose of obtaining a temporary child custody or visitation order when no court order exists as to the custody or visitation of the child of the deploying parent.

(2) A deploying parent, or a non-deploying parent where the deploying parent is currently on deployment or has received a deployment order, may file a motion with the court to request a temporary child custody or visitation order modifying the terms of an existing child custody order or visitation order.

(b)(1) Upon a motion as provided under subsection (a) of this section, the court may issue a temporary order to establish the terms for custody and visitation of the child of the deploying parent or modify the terms of an existing custody or visitation order for the child of the deploying parent to make reasonable accommodation for the deployment.

(2) A temporary order issued pursuant to this subsection shall state:

(A) That the basis of the order is the deployment of a military parent; and

(B) That the temporary order shall terminate and the permanent order shall resume within 10 days after notification of the deploying parent’s ability to resume custody or visitation unless the court finds that resumption of the custody or visitation order in effect before deployment is no longer in the child’s best interest.

(3) A temporary order issued pursuant to this subsection may require:

(A) The non-deploying parent to reasonably accommodate the leave schedule of the deploying parent;

(B) The non-deploying parent to facilitate opportunities for telephonic communication, electronic mail, or other electronic communication between the deploying parent and child during the deployment period; and

(C) The deploying parent to provide the non-deploying parent with timely notice of leave of absence, unless the leave schedule of the deploying parent is changed without sufficient advance notice to allow the deploying parent to give timely notice to the non-deploying parent, in which case neither the court nor the non-deploying parent shall use the untimely notice to prevent contact between the deploying parent and the child or use the untimely notice as a basis in requesting or issuing a permanent order modifying an existing custody or visitation arrangement.

(4)(A) Upon a motion of a deploying parent, or upon motion of a family member of the deploying parent with the consent of the deploying parent, the court may issue a temporary order to delegate all or a portion of the deploying parent’s visitation rights to a family member with a close and substantial relationship to the child for the duration of the deployment if in the best interest of the child; provided, that:

(i) The delegation of visitation rights or access to the child shall not create an entitlement or standing to assert separate rights to a liberty interest in the care and custody of the child for a person other than a parent; and

(ii) A delegation of visitation rights or access to the child shall not exceed the visitation time granted to the deploying parent.

(B) A temporary order delegating all or a portion of a deploying parent’s visitation rights under this paragraph shall terminate by operation of law in accordance with paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection.

(C) A person to whom visitation rights have been delegated by a temporary order issued under this paragraph shall have full legal standing to enforce that temporary order.

(5) In issuing a temporary order under this subsection, the court shall ensure that the parties are advised of the possible availability of a modification of child support, and shall provide notice to the parties of how such a modification may be obtained. The court may also decide the issue of child support, in accordance with the child support guideline in § 16-916.01, during the hearing on the motion for a temporary order under this section.

(6) For the purposes of this subsection, the non-deploying parent shall have the burden of proving that resumption of the permanent order is no longer in the child’s best interest.

(c) The court shall not issue a permanent order modifying the terms of an existing custody or visitation order until 90 days after the termination of the deployment of a military parent. The court shall not consider the activation or deployment of a deploying parent as the sole factor in the court’s decision of whether or not to grant or deny a petition for custody or visitation, and neither deployment nor the potential for future deployment of a military parent shall, by itself, be regarded as a material change in the circumstances of any existing custody or visitation order, or against the best interests of the child, for the court to issue a permanent order modifying the terms of an existing custody or visitation order.

(d) The court, in any child custody or visitation proceeding between either 2 deploying parents or a deploying parent and a non-deploying parent, shall allow any deploying parent to present testimony or evidence relevant to the custody or visitation proceedings either by affidavit or electronically when deployment precludes the personal appearance of the deploying parent.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Activation” means the extension of United States Armed Forces to active military service of the United States. Activation does not include National Guard or Reserve annual training, inactive duty, drill weekends, or active duty within the District.

(2) “Deploying parent” means a military parent who is on deployment or has received mandatory orders from military leadership to deploy with the United States Armed Forces.

(3) “Deployment” means the compliance with military orders received by any member of the United States Armed Forces for active service, including service for combat operations, contingency operations, peacekeeping operations, temporary duty, and remote tours of duty.

(4) “Military parent” means a member of the United States Armed Forces who is the parent of a minor child, including the biological, adoptive, or legal parent, whose parental rights have not been terminated or transferred to the District or another person through juvenile proceedings.

(5) “Non-deploying parent” means a parent who is not a member of the United States Armed Forces, or is a military parent who is currently neither a deploying parent nor a parent that has received an imminent deployment or activation order.

(6) “United States Armed Forces” means the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, or any other Reserve component thereof.


(Mar. 14, 2012, D.C. Law 19-110, § 2(b), 59 DCR 449.)


§ 16–915. Change of name on divorce.

Upon divorce from the bond of marriage, the court shall, on request of a party who assumed a new name on marriage and desires to discontinue using it, state in the decree of divorce either the birth-given or other previous name which such person desires to use.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 562; Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 18, 23 DCR 2544.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-915.

1973 Ed., § 16-915.


§ 16–916. Maintenance of spouse [or domestic partner] and minor children; maintenance of former spouse [or domestic partner]; maintenance of minor children; enforcement.

(a) Whenever a spouse or domestic partner shall fail or refuse to maintain his or her needy spouse, domestic partner, minor children, or both, although able to do so, or whenever any parent shall fail or refuse to maintain his or her children by a marriage since dissolved, although able to do so, the court, upon proper application and upon a showing of genuine need of a spouse or domestic partner, may decree, pendente lite and permanently, that such spouse or domestic partner shall pay reasonable sums periodically for the support of such needy spouse or domestic partner and of the children, or such children, as the case may be, and the court may decree that he or she pay suit money, including counsel fees, pendente lite and permanently, to enable plaintiff to conduct the case.

(b) Whenever a former spouse or domestic partner has obtained a foreign ex parte divorce or termination of the domestic partnership, in accordance with § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e), the court thereafter, on application of the other former spouse or domestic partner and with personal service of process upon such former spouse or domestic partner in the District of Columbia, may decree that he or she shall pay him or her reasonable sums periodically for his or her maintenance and for suit money, including counsel fees, pendente lite and permanently, to enable plaintiff to conduct the case.

(c) When a father or mother fails to maintain his or her minor child, the Court may decree that the father or mother pay reasonable sums periodically for the support and maintenance of the child, including health insurance coverage and cash medical support, and may decree that the father or mother pay Court costs, including counsel fees, to enable plaintiff to conduct the cases.

(c-1) A support order entered under this section shall contain terms providing for the payment of medical expenses for each child included in the support order, whether or not health insurance coverage is available to pay for those expenses. The court may order either or both parents to provide health insurance coverage, cash medical support, or both, consistent with § 16-916.01.

(c-2) In all cases where accessible health insurance coverage is available to either or both parents at reasonable cost, the court shall order either or both parents to provide the health insurance coverage, consistent with § 16-916.01.

(c-3) In selecting among health insurance coverage options, the court shall consider, at a minimum, the cost, comprehensiveness, and accessibility of all health insurance coverage options available to either parent.

(c-3A) In cases where accessible health insurance coverage is not available to either parent at reasonable cost, or where the medical expenses of a child are not fully covered by health insurance, the court shall order either or both parents to pay cash medical support consistent with § 16-916.01.

(c-3B) For the purposes of this section, health insurance coverage shall be considered reasonable in cost if the cost to the obligated parent of providing coverage for the children subject to the support order pursuant to § 16-916.01(i)(3) does not exceed 5% of the parent’s gross income.

(c-3C) For the purposes of this section, health insurance coverage shall be considered accessible if, based on the work history of the parent providing the coverage, it will be available for at least one year, and if the child lives within the geographic area covered by the plan or within 30 minutes or 30 miles of primary care services.

(c-4) All support orders subject to enforcement by the IV-D agency pursuant to title IV, part D of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1975 (88 Stat. 2351; 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.), shall require the payment of support in equal monthly amounts on the first day of each month. If a support order does not require the payment of support in this manner and the support order is or becomes subject to enforcement by the IV-D agency, the IV-D agency may direct the payor, upon notice to both parents, to pay the support in equal monthly amounts on the first day of each month; provided, that the total of the monthly amounts required to be paid in one year cumulatively equals the total support required to be paid annually under the support order.

(d) The court may enforce any decree entered under this section in the same manner as is provided in section 16-911.

(e)(1) In order to secure payment of overdue support as defined in section 466(e) of the Social Security Act approved August 16, 1984 (98 Stat. 1306; 42 U.S.C. 666(e)), after providing notice under subsection (b) of this section, the Court shall, where appropriate, require the parent to post security, bond, or give some other guarantee.

(2) The Court shall provide advance notice to the parent regarding the delinquency of the support payment and the requirement of posting security, bond, or guarantee. The notice shall inform the parent of the parent’s rights and the methods available for contesting the impending action.

(3) Where the Clerk of the Court determines that a parent is delinquent in child support payments in an amount equal to at least 60 days of child support payments, the Clerk of the Court shall notify the Mayor of the parent’s name, social security number, court docket number, and the amount of the support payment delinquency.

(f) Repealed.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 562; Sept. 29, 1965, 79 Stat. 889, Pub. L. 89-217, § 3; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 557, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(e)(2)(A); Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 19(a)-(c), 23 DCR 2544; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-166, § 33(a)(4), 33 DCR 6710; May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 24, 36 DCR 492; Mar. 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-223, § 2(e), 41 DCR 8051; Feb. 13, 1996, D.C. Law 11-87, § 2, 42 DCR 6767; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 106(g), 48 DCR 1270; Mar. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-130, § 202(b), 51 DCR 1615; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 4(g), 53 DCR 1035; May 12, 2006, D.C. Law 16-100, § 2(g), 53 DCR 1886; June 22, 2006, D.C. Law 16-138, § 2(b), 53 DCR 3650; Mar. 20, 2008, D.C. Law 17-128, § 2(c), 55 DCR 1525; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 20(e), 55 DCR 6758; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 2(f), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-916.

1973 Ed., § 16-916.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-583, § 16-831.03, § 16-901, § 16-916.01, and § 46-201.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269, in subsec. (a), inserted “that either or both parents shall pay for the unreimbursed medical expenses of the child, and that a parent shall obtain medical insurance for the child whenever that insurance is available at a reasonable cost,” preceding “’and the court may decree”; and, in subsec. (c), inserted “that either or both parents shall pay for the unreimbursed medical expenses of the child,” preceding “that the parent obtain medical insurance”.

D.C. Law 15-130, in subsec. (a), deleted “that either or both parents shall pay for the unreimbursed medical expenses of the child, and that a parent shall obtain medical insurance for the child whenever that insurance is available at a reasonable cost,” following “as the case may be,”; in subsec. (c), deleted “that either or both parents shall pay for the unreimbursed medical expenses of the child, and that a parent shall obtain medical insurance for the child whenever that insurance is available at a reasonable cost,” following “maintenance of the child,”; and added subsecs. (c-1), (c-2), and (c-3).

D.C. Law 16-79 rewrote subsecs. (a) and (b).

D.C. Law 16-100 added subsec. (c-4).

D.C. Law 16-138 repealed subsec. (f), which had read as follows: “(f) Any court order that establishes a retroactive amount of child support or a judgment for unreimbursed public assistance shall be established in accordance with section 16-916.01 and shall take into consideration either the current earnings and income of the noncustodial parent at the time the order is set or the earnings and income of the noncustodial parent during the period for which retroactive child support or unreimbursed public assistance is sought. To overcome the presumptive support amount, the court may consider the obligor’s ability to pay back support and concurrently maintain current payments.”

D.C. Law 17-128 rewrote subsecs. (c), (c-1), (c-2), and (c-3) and added subsecs. (c-3A), (c-3B), and (c-3C).

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (b), substituted “termination of the domestic partnership, in accordance with § 32-702(d),” for “termination of the domestic partnership,”.

Cross References

Child support enforcement, withholding of income, see § 46-207.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 5(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(i) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 106(g) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(b) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-485, October 3, 2002, 49 DCR 9631).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(b) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-600, January 7, 2003, 50 DCR 664).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(b) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-208, October 24, 2003, 50 DCR 9856).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(b) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-330, January 28, 2004, 51 DCR 1603).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(g) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-167, July 26, 2005, 52 DCR 7648).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(g) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-200, November 17, 2005, 52 DCR 10490).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(i) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(i) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(i) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(i) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 202(b) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-238, March 25, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2751).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 202(b) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-84, March 10, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3376).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(g) of the Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Temporary Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Law 16-42, December 10, 2005, law notification 52 DCR 11038).

Editor's Notes

Applicability: Section 4 of D.C. Law 16-138 provided: “This act shall apply as of April 1, 2007.”


§ 16–916.01. Child Support Guideline.

(a) In any case that involves the establishment of child support, or in any case that seeks to modify an existing support order, if the judicial officer finds that there is an existing duty of child support, the judicial officer shall conduct a hearing on child support, make a finding, and enter a judgment in accordance with the child support guideline (“guideline”) established in this section.

(b) In every action for divorce or custody, and in every proceeding for protection involving an intrafamily offense, instituted pursuant to Chapter 10 of Title 16, where a party has a legal duty to pay support to another party, the judicial officer shall inquire into the parties’ child support arrangements. If the party entitled to child support has not requested support, or if the parties have agreed against the entry of a support order, the judicial officer shall advise the parties, regardless of whether they are represented by counsel, of the parties’ entitlement to receive and obligation to pay child support under the guideline.

(c) The guideline shall be based on the following principles:

(1) The guideline shall set forth an equitable approach to child support in which both parents share legal responsibility for the support of the child.

(2) The subsistence needs of each parent shall be taken into account in the determination of child support.

(3) A parent has the responsibility to meet the child’s basic needs, as well as to provide additional child support above the basic needs level.

(4) Application of the guideline shall be gender neutral.

(5) The guideline shall be applied consistently regardless of whether either parent is a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Program on Work, Employment, and Responsibility, or General Assistance for Children recipient, or a recipient of benefits under any substantially similar means-tested public assistance program.

(6) The guideline shall be applied presumptively.

(d)(1) For the purposes of this section, the term “gross income” means income from any source, including:

(A) Salary or wages, including overtime, tips, or income from self-employment;

(B) Commissions;

(C) Severance pay;

(D) Royalties;

(E) Bonuses;

(F) Interest or dividends;

(G) Income derived from a business or partnership after deduction of reasonable and necessary business expenses, but not depreciation;

(H) Social Security;

(I) Veteran’s benefits;

(J) Insurance benefits;

(K) Worker’s compensation;

(L) Unemployment compensation;

(M) Pension;

(N) Annuity;

(O) Income from a trust;

(P) Capital gains from a real or personal property transaction, if the capital gains represent a regular source of income;

(Q) A contract that results in regular income;

(R) A perquisite or in-kind compensation if the perquisite or in-kind compensation is significant and represents a regular source of income or reduces living expenses, such as use of a company car , reimbursed meals, or military housing and food allowances, including the Basic Allowance for Housing and the Basic Allowance for Subsistence;

(S) Income from life insurance or an endowment contract;

(T) Regular income from an interest in an estate, directly or through a trust;

(U) Lottery or gambling winnings that are received in a lump sum or in an annuity;

(V) Prize or award;

(W) Net rental income after deduction of reasonable and necessary operating costs, but not depreciation; or

(X) Taxes paid on a party’s income by an employer or, if the income is nontaxable, the amount of taxes that would be paid if the income were taxable.

(2) For a parent subject to self-employment tax, 1/2 of Social Security and Medicare taxes due and payable on current income shall be deducted from the parent’s gross income before the child support obligation is computed.

(3) Alimony paid by either parent to the other parent subject to the support order shall be deducted from the gross income of the parent paying the alimony before the child support obligation is computed. Alimony received from any person, including alimony received from the other parent subject to the support order, shall be added to the gross income of the parent receiving the alimony before the child support obligation is computed. Deductions and additions for alimony shall be made regardless of whether the alimony is court ordered or paid pursuant to an agreement.

(4) A support order that is being paid by either parent shall be deducted from the parent’s gross income before the child support obligation is computed.

(5) Each parent shall receive a deduction from gross income for each child living in the parent’s home for whom the parent owes a legal duty to pay support, if the child is not subject to the support order. The amount of the deduction shall be calculated by determining the basic child support obligation for the additional child in the parent’s home pursuant to subsection (f)(2) of this section, using only the income of the parent entitled to the deduction. This figure shall be multiplied by 75%, and the resulting amount subtracted from the parent’s gross income before the child support obligation is computed.

(6) Gross income shall not include benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Program on Work, Employment, and Responsibility, General Assistance for Children, Supplemental Security Income, or Food Stamps.

(7) Gross income shall not include income received by or on behalf of a child in the household of a parent or third-party custodian, including foster care and guardianship payments, if the income is for a child who is not subject to the support order.

(8) If a child subject to the support order is in the care of a third party, both parents may be required to pay child support. The income of the third party shall not be considered in the calculation of child support.

(9) If a child subject to the support order receives Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) derivative benefits through either parent, the amount of the derivative benefit paid to the child shall be included in the gross income of the parent from whom the benefit derives.

(10) If the judicial officer finds that a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed as a result of the parent’s bad faith or deliberate effort to suppress income, to avoid or minimize the parent’s child support obligation, or to maximize the other parent’s obligation, the judicial officer may impute income to this parent and calculate the child support obligation based on the imputed income. The judicial officer shall not impute income to a parent who is physically or mentally unable to work or who is receiving means-tested public assistance benefits. The judicial officer shall issue written factual findings stating the reasons for imputing income at the specified amount.

(11) The judicial officer shall determine the adjusted gross income of each parent based on evidence, including pay stubs, tax returns, employer statements, affidavits, and oral testimony provided under oath.

(e) The judicial officer shall determine each parent’s adjusted gross income by making the additions to and deductions from gross income specified in subsection (d) of this section.

(f)(1) Except in cases of shared physical custody as described in subsection (q) of this section, the child support obligation shall be calculated according to the following procedure:

(A) Determine each parent’s adjusted gross income according to subsection (e) of this section.

(B) Using the parents’ combined adjusted gross income, locate the basic child support obligation from the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations referenced in subsection (w) of this section. If the parents’ combined adjusted gross income falls between the amounts shown in the schedule, the basic child support obligation shall be rounded up to the next higher amount.

(C) Calculate each parent’s percentage share of combined adjusted gross income by dividing each parent’s adjusted gross income by the combined adjusted gross income.

(D) Multiply the basic child support obligation from subparagraph (B) of this paragraph by each parent’s percentage share of combined adjusted gross income from subparagraph (C) of this paragraph to determine each parent’s share of the basic child support obligation. When the parents do not have shared physical custody as defined in subsection (q) of this section, the parent with whom the child does not primarily reside shall be the parent with a legal duty to pay support. The parent with a legal duty to pay support shall pay that parent’s share of the basic child support obligation to the parent with whom the child primarily resides. Adjustments for health insurance premiums, extraordinary medical expenses, child care expenses, and SSDI derivative benefits shall be made to this amount according to subsections (i) through (l) of this section. The parent with whom the child primarily resides shall be presumed to spend that parent’s own share of child support directly on the child.

(2) Worksheet A in Appendix II may be used to calculate the child support obligation under this subsection.

(f-1)(1) If the judicial officer does not have sufficient evidence to determine the adjusted gross income of a parent with a legal duty to pay support in accordance with subsection (e) of this section, the judicial officer may enter a minimum order of $75 per month; provided, that the parent has:

(A) Been served with notice of the hearing but has failed to appear; or

(B) Failed to provide information about his or her gross income.

(2) If the judicial officer enters an order under this subsection, the judicial officer shall issue written factual findings stating the reasons for entering the order in the amount specified.

(g)(1)(A) A parent with a legal duty to pay support may maintain a self-support reserve as provided in this subsection. The self-support reserve shall be calculated at 133% of the United States Department of Health and Human Services poverty guideline per year for a single individual. The self-support reserve shall be updated by the Mayor every 2 years with the updated amount to be published in the District of Columbia Register and made effective as of April 1.

(B) As of April 1, 2007, the self-support reserve shall be $12,382.

(C) As of April 1, 2009, the self-support reserve shall be $14,404. The Child Support Services Division of the Office of the Attorney General shall act promptly to ensure that all child support orders entered into on or after April 1, 2009 are modified, as appropriate and as permitted under applicable law, to incorporate the April 1, 2009 adjustment.

(D) As of April 1, 2015, the self-support reserve shall be $15,654.

(2) A parent with a legal duty to pay support, but with adjusted gross income below the self-support reserve, shall be considered unable to contribute the amount determined under subsection (f) of this section. The judicial officer shall treat a parent at this level of income on an individual basis, and shall determine the amount that the parent is able to pay, while meeting personal subsistence needs.

(3)(A) Where the judicial officer finds that a parent with adjusted gross income below the self-support reserve has the ability to pay child support under paragraph (2) of this section, there shall be a presumption that the parent can pay a minimum amount of $75 per month, while meeting personal subsistence needs. The presumption may be rebutted downward to $0 or upward above $75 per month by evidence of resources or circumstances affecting the parent’s ability to pay, including age, employability, disability, homelessness, incarceration, inpatient substance abuse treatment, other inpatient treatment, housing expenses, provision or receipt of in-kind resources or services, benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs, other public benefits, subsidies, tax credits, or other appropriate circumstances.

(B) In any contested matter, the judicial officer shall ask the parent with a legal duty to pay support and the parent to whom support is owed, if present, if either has evidence that would rebut the presumption under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. If either parent answers in the affirmative, that parent shall have an opportunity to present such evidence before an order is issued.

(C) The judicial officer shall issue written factual findings stating the reasons for the entry of an order below or above the $75 per month presumptive amount.

(g-1)(1) Upon request or on the judicial officer’s own motion, the judicial officer shall determine whether the parent to whom support is owed can meet his or her personal subsistence needs, considering the resources and circumstances of that parent, including age, employability, disability, homelessness, incarceration, inpatient substance abuse treatment, other inpatient treatment, housing expenses, provision or receipt of in-kind resources or services, benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs, other public benefits, subsidies, tax credits, or other appropriate circumstances.

(2) If the judicial officer determines that the parent to whom support is owed can meet his or her subsistence needs, the judicial officer shall order the parent with a legal duty to pay support to pay what he or she would otherwise be required to pay pursuant to this section.

(3) If the judicial officer determines that the parent to whom support is owed cannot meet his or her subsistence needs and the parent with a legal duty to pay support has an adjusted gross income below the self-support reserve under subsection (g) of this section, the judicial officer shall determine whether, for the support and maintenance of the child, the parent with a legal duty to pay support should pay more than he or she would otherwise be required to pay pursuant to subsection (g)(3) of this section.

(4) In no case shall the amount ordered pursuant to this section:

(A) Result in the adjusted gross income of the parent with a legal duty to pay support falling below the modified self-support reserve under subsection (g-2) of this section; or

(B) Exceed the amount of pass-through funds available to families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits.

(5) The judicial officer shall issue written factual findings stating the reasons for the entry of an order issued pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(g-2) A modified self-support reserve shall be calculated at 100% of the United States Department of Health and Human Services poverty guideline per year for a single individual to be used to determine support pursuant to subsection (g-1) of this section. The modified self-support reserve shall be updated by the Mayor every 2 years with the updated amount to be published in the District of Columbia Register and made effective as of April 1. As of April 1, 2015, the modified self-support reserve shall be $11,770.

(h) The guideline shall not apply presumptively in cases where the parents’ combined adjusted gross income exceeds $240,000 per year. In these cases, the child support obligation shall not be less than the amount that the parent with a legal duty to pay support would have been ordered to pay if the guideline had been applied to combined adjusted gross income of $240,000. The judicial officer may exercise discretion to order more child support, after determining the reasonable needs of the child based on actual family experience. The judicial officer shall issue written factual findings stating the reasons for an award of additional child support.

(i)(1) All orders shall contain terms providing for the payment of medical expenses for the child in accordance with section 16-916.

(2) Amounts paid by either parent for health insurance premiums for a child subject to the support order shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their respective adjusted gross incomes and added to the parents’ respective shares of the basic child support obligation.

(3) A parent shall present proof of the increase in a health insurance premium incurred as a result of the addition of the child to the health insurance policy. The proof provided shall identify clearly that the source of the increase of the health insurance premium is the child subject to the support order. The cost to add the child shall be reasonable.

(4) If a parent has family health insurance coverage in the parent’s health insurance plan for a second family, the addition of the child who is subject to the support order need not result in an additional cost of health insurance coverage to the parent. The parent shall provide proof that the child has been added to the health insurance coverage. An adjustment shall not be made if there is no additional cost of health insurance coverage to the parent.

(5) Health insurance coverage shall be considered reasonable in cost if the cost to the obligated parent of providing coverage for the children subject to the support order pursuant to § 16-916.01(i)(3) does not exceed 5% of the parent’s gross income.

(j)(1) Extraordinary medical expenses are uninsured or unreimbursed medical expenses in excess of $250 per year, per child subject to the support order. These expenses include co-payments, deductibles, and contributions associated with public and private health insurance coverage, and costs that are reasonably necessary for orthodontia, dental treatment, asthma treatments, physical therapy, vision care, or the diagnosis or treatment of a health condition.

(2) Extraordinary medical expenses shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their respective adjusted gross incomes.

(3) If extraordinary medical expenses are recurring and the judicial officer can reasonably determine future expenses when the support order is established or modified, the judicial officer shall add each parent’s proportionate share of the expenses to the parent’s share of the basic child support obligation. The parents shall pay other extraordinary medical expenses in proportion to their adjusted gross incomes when these expenses are incurred. If either parent advances payment for these expenses to a provider of services, the other parent shall reimburse that parent for the other parent’s proportionate share of the expense within 30 days of receiving written proof of the expense and payment.

(k) Reasonable child care expenses incurred for a child subject to the support order due to the employment or education of either parent shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted gross incomes and added to their respective shares of the basic child support obligation. Child care expenses shall be determined by actual family experience, unless the judicial officer determines that the actual family experience is not in the best interest of the child. If there is no actual family experience, or if the actual family experience is not in the best interest of the child, the judicial officer shall determine a reasonable child care expense based on the cost of child care from a licensed source. If the primary residential parent chooses child care with an actual cost that is less than the level required to provide child care from a licensed source, the judicial officer shall use the actual child care expense to calculate the child support obligation.

(l) If a child subject to the support order receives SSDI derivative benefits from the parent with a legal duty to pay support, the following adjustment to the child support obligation shall be made:

(1) After the child support obligation is calculated pursuant to subsections (f) through (k) of this section, the amount of the SSDI derivative benefit paid to the child shall be subtracted from the child support obligation. If the SSDI derivative benefit is less than the child support obligation, the order shall be set at the difference between the child support obligation and the SSDI derivative benefit. If the SSDI derivative benefit is greater than the child support obligation, the order shall be set at zero.

(2) If the judicial officer finds that SSDI derivative benefits were paid to a child subject to the support order prior to the filing of the petition to establish or motion to modify child support, these benefits shall be credited toward any retroactive child support or accumulated arrears owed pursuant to the support order.

(m) As the last calculation in the determination of child support, the judicial officer shall calculate a low-income adjustment to ensure that the parent with a legal duty to pay support is able to satisfy personal subsistence needs after the payment of child support. The judicial officer shall apply this low-income adjustment after additions to and deductions from the parent’s share of the basic child support obligation have been made pursuant to subsections (i) through (l) of this section. The low-income adjustment shall be calculated as follows:

(1) Calculate a child support obligation for the parent with a legal duty to pay support according to subsections (f) and (i) through (l) of this section.

(2) Determine the parent’s maximum ability to pay child support by subtracting the self-support reserve from the parent’s adjusted gross income. If the remainder is negative or less than $900 per year., apply subsection (g) of this section to determine the parent’s child support obligation.

(3) If the parent’s maximum ability to pay child support calculated under paragraph (2) of this subsection is greater than or equal to $900 per year., compare the parent’s maximum ability to pay child support to the child support obligation calculated in paragraph (1) of this subsection. The parent’s child support obligation shall be the lesser of these 2 amounts.

(4)(A) If under paragraph (3) of this subsection, the parent with a legal duty to pay support would pay less than the child support obligation calculated pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the judicial officer may consider whether:

(i) The parent to whom support is owed would be able to meet his or her subsistence needs; and

(ii) Whether the children would face extreme hardship if this amount were ordered.

(B) The judicial officer, after considering the factors set forth in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, may deviate from the amount calculated pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection; provided, that any deviation upward shall not exceed the basic child support obligation calculated pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(n) The child support obligation, including additions for health insurance premiums, extraordinary medical expenses, and child care expenses, shall not exceed 35% of the adjusted gross income of the parent with a legal duty to pay support.

(o)(1) If the parties present a consent order, an agreement that is to become an order, or a written agreement that is to be merged in an order, the judicial officer shall examine the child support provisions of the agreement, and compare the child support provisions to the guideline. If the amount of child support agreed upon is different from the amount of child support that would be ordered presumptively upon application of the guideline, the judicial officer shall determine if the agreed-upon level of child support is fair and just. If the parties are represented by counsel, the judicial officer shall inquire whether the attorneys informed the clients of the guideline. If the clients have not been informed of the guideline, the judicial officer shall advise the attorneys to do so. If a party is not represented by an attorney, the judicial officer shall ensure that the party is aware of the child support amount that the court would order presumptively pursuant to the guideline.

(2) The propriety of a departure from the guideline based on the consent of the parties shall be justified in writing with a statement of the factors that form the basis for the judicial officer’s finding that the departure is fair and just. A transcript filed in the jacket shall suffice as a writing.

(p) Application of the guideline shall be presumptive. The guideline shall be applied unless its application would be unjust or inappropriate in the circumstances of the particular case. The propriety of any departure from the guideline under this subsection shall be justified in writing with a statement of the factors that form the basis for the judicial officer’s finding that the guideline amount is unjust or inappropriate. A transcript filed in the jacket shall suffice as a writing. The factors that may be considered to overcome the presumption are:

(1) The needs of the child are exceptional and require more than average expenditures;

(2) The gross income of the parent with a legal duty to pay support is substantially less than that of the parent to whom support is owed;

(3) A property settlement provides resources readily available for the support of the child in an amount at least equivalent to the guideline amount;

(4) Either parent supports a dependent other than a child subject to the support order, including a biological or adoptive child, a step-child, or an elderly relative, and application of the guideline would result in extraordinary hardship;

(5) The parent with a legal duty to pay support needs a temporary period of reduced child support payments to permit the repayment of a debt or rearrangement of the parent’s financial obligations; a temporary reduction may be included in a support order if:

(A) The debt or obligation is for a necessary expenditure of reasonable cost in light of the parent’s family responsibilities;

(B) The time of the reduction does not exceed 12 months; and

(C) The support order includes the amount that is to be paid at the end of the reduction period and the date that the higher payments are to commence;

(6) The parent to whom support is owed receives child support for a child living in this parent’s home, other than the child subject to the support order, and the resulting gross income of the household to which support is owed causes the standard of living of that household to be greater than that of the household of the parent with a legal duty to pay support. For the purposes of this paragraph, the standard of living of a household shall be measured by dividing the gross income available to the household from all sources by the federal poverty guideline, as reported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, for the number of adults contributing to the household, plus the number of children;

(7) A child subject to the support order has regular and substantial income that can be used for the care of the child without impairment of the child’s current or future education;

(8) The parent with a legal duty to pay support has special needs that increase the costs of the parent’s subsistence;

(9) The parent with a legal duty to pay support pays for certain expensive necessities for the child, such as tuition;

(10) The parent with a legal duty to pay support is 18 years old or younger and a full-time student;

(11) The child is a respondent in a neglect proceeding and has been placed outside the home with a goal of reunification with the parent; or

(12) Any other exceptional circumstance that would yield a patently unfair result.

(q)(1) Where a child spends 35% or more of the time during the year with each parent, there shall be a presumption that the parents have shared physical custody of the child. The child support obligation shall be calculated according to the following procedure:

(A) Determine the adjusted basic child support obligation by calculating the basic child support obligation pursuant to subsection (f)(2) of this section and multiplying it by 1.5.

(B) Determine each parent’s proportionate share of the adjusted basic child support obligation based on each parent’s share of combined adjusted gross income.

(C) Determine the amount of child support to be retained by each parent by multiplying each parent’s share of the adjusted basic child support obligation by the percentage of time the child spends with the relevant parent.

(D) Subtract the amount of child support to be retained by each parent from the relevant parent’s share of the adjusted basic child support obligation to determine the amount of each parent’s child support obligation.

(E) The parent owing the greater amount under subparagraph (D) of this paragraph shall be the parent with a legal duty to pay support, and shall pay the difference between the 2 amounts to the other parent.

(F) Additions to and deductions from the parents’ respective shares of the adjusted basic child support obligation determined under subparagraph (D) of this paragraph, shall be made as specified in subsections (i) through (l) of this section.

(G) A child support obligation calculated based on shared physical custody shall not exceed the amount that the parent with a legal duty to pay support would pay if this parent’s child support obligation were calculated based on the other parent’s sole custody pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(2) Where the presumption of shared physical custody does not apply because the child does not spend 35% or more of the time during the year with each parent, the judicial officer shall presumptively calculate the child support obligation based on sole physical custody pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(3) If the presumption of shared physical custody applies pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, either parent may rebut this presumption by proving that the method of calculating the child support obligation based on shared physical custody would be unjust or inappropriate because of the parents’ particular arrangements for the custody of the child. If a parent rebuts this presumption, the judicial officer shall calculate the child support obligation based on sole physical custody pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(4) If the presumption of shared physical custody does not apply pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, either parent may rebut the presumption that the support obligation should be calculated based on sole physical custody pursuant to subsection (f) of this section by proving that use of that method would be unjust or inappropriate based on the parents’ particular arrangements for the custody of the child and that a calculation based on shared physical custody would yield a fair and just result. If a parent rebuts the presumption that the child support obligation should be calculated based on sole physical custody under this paragraph, the judicial officer shall calculate the child support obligation based on shared physical custody pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(5) Where a parent has challenged the applicability of either method for calculating the child support obligation under this subsection, the judicial officer shall issue written factual findings stating the reason for using either the shared custody or sole custody method of calculation.

(6) Worksheet (B) in Appendix III may be used to calculate the child support obligation under this subsection.

(r) A support order issued under this section or section 46-204, shall be subject to modification by application of the guideline subject to the following conditions or limitations:

(1) The parents in a child support proceeding shall exchange relevant information on finances or dependents every 3 years and shall be encouraged to update a support order voluntarily using the updated information and the guideline. Relevant information is any information that is used to compute child support pursuant to the guideline.

(2) Every 3 years, in cases being enforced under title IV, part D of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1975 (88 Stat. 2351; 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.), the IV-D agency shall notify both parents of the right to a review, and, if appropriate, a modification of the support order under the guideline. The IV-D agency shall conduct the review in all cases where there is an assignment of support rights pursuant to § 4-205.19, and at the request of either parent in all other cases. If the IV-D agency conducts a review, the IV-D agency shall inform both parents if a modification is warranted under the guideline, and shall petition for a modification of the support order when there is an assignment of support rights or if requested by a parent.

(3) If a support order does not provide for the payment of medical expenses for each child subject to the support order, at the request of a party or the IV-D agency, the court shall modify the support order to provide for the payment of such expenses in accordance with section 16-916.

(4)(A) There shall be a presumption that there has been a substantial and material change of circumstances that warrants a modification of a support order if application of the guideline to the current circumstances of the parents results in an amount of child support that varies from the amount of the existing support order by 15% or more. The presumption is rebutted by:

(i) Proof of special circumstances, such as a circumstance that would justify a departure from the guideline; or

(ii) Proof of substantial reliance on the original support order issued prior to the adoption of or revision to the guideline, and that application of the guideline would yield a patently unjust result.

(B) If a change to the guideline results in a support order that differs from the current support order by 15% or more, the presumption stated in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall apply, and the current order may be modified without any additional showing of a change in circumstances.

(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit the ability of a parent to seek a modification of a support order upon a showing of a material and substantial change in the needs of the child or the ability of the parent with a legal duty to pay support to pay, regardless of whether this change results in a support order that differs by 15% or more from the current order.

(5) In cases being enforced under title IV, part D of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1975 (88 Stat. 2371; 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.), upon receipt of notice and documentation establishing that a parent is incarcerated in a specific facility (except where the parent is incarcerated for contempt for failure to pay child support pursuant to section 46-225.02), the IV-D agency shall review the circumstances of both parents and determine if a modification of the support order is appropriate under the guideline. If the IV-D agency determines that a parent’s incarceration has resulted in a change in financial circumstances warranting a modification of the support order, the IV-D agency may request the court to suspend or modify the support order pursuant to this subsection. Upon receipt of such a request, the court shall modify the support order in accordance with the guideline. The court may modify the support order from the date on which the IV-D agency received notice under this paragraph of the parent’s incarceration.

(6) The basic child support obligation, as adjusted by additions and deletions made pursuant to subsections (i) through (l) of this section, shall be used to compute the amount of child support the guideline would yield for modification and to apply the test for the presumption.

(7) If a support order is issued after September 27, 1987, and the amount of the support order differs from the guideline, by order of the court or by a merged agreement of the parties, the presumption shall not apply within one year of the issuance of the support order.

(8) If a motion to modify a support order pursuant to this section is accompanied by an affidavit that sets forth sufficient facts and guideline calculations, and is accompanied by proof of service upon the respondent, the judicial officer may enter an order modifying the support order in accordance with the guideline unless a party requests a hearing within 30 days of service of the motion for modification. No support order shall be modified without a hearing if a hearing is timely requested.

(9) Notwithstanding paragraphs (3) through (6) of this subsection, a party may submit a praecipe with a certification of waiver and supporting documentation, as prescribed by the court, to modify the child support amount by agreement of the parties at any time. This agreement shall be reviewed by a judicial officer for issuance of a revised support order in the same manner as an original agreement of the parties is reviewed.

(10) The judicial officer shall justify any departure from the guideline in writing with a statement of the factors that form the basis for the finding that the guideline amount is unjust or inappropriate. A transcript filed in the jacket shall suffice as a writing.

(11) Notwithstanding paragraph (4)(B) of this subsection, if a new child is born to the parents, the guideline shall be applied to the entire family and one order shall be issued for all the children in the family. If possible, the 2 cases shall be consolidated if child support for the last child is petitioned as a separate case.

(12) Nothing in this subsection shall preclude a party from moving to modify a support order at any other time.

(s) A support order shall not be deemed invalid on the sole basis that the support order was issued pursuant to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Child Support Guideline and prior to the effective date of the Child Support Guideline Amendment Emergency Act of 1989, effective December 21, 1989 (D.C. Act 8-127; 37 DCR 3).

(t) Upon the occurrence of a substantial and material change in circumstances sufficient to warrant the modification of a child support obligation pursuant to the guideline, the judicial officer may modify any provision of an agreement or settlement relating to child support, without regard to whether the agreement or settlement is entered as a consent order or is incorporated or merged in a court order.

(u) If an order or agreement providing for child support does not set forth a date on which the child support commences, the child support shall be deemed to commence on the first day of the first month following the date the order was entered or the date the agreement was executed, whichever is later in time. If the relevant date falls on the first day of a month, the order shall be deemed to commence on that day.

(v)(1) When a case is brought to establish child support, the judicial officer may award retroactive child support for a period not to exceed the 24 months preceding the filing of the petition or request for child support, unless the parent to whom support is owed proves that the parent with a legal duty to pay support has acted in bad faith or there are other extraordinary circumstances warranting an award of retroactive child support beyond the 24-month period. Upon this showing, the judicial officer may award retroactive child support for a period that exceeds the 24 months prior to the filing of the petition or request for child support. The judicial officer shall issue written factual findings stating the reason for awarding retroactive child support beyond the 24 month period.

(2) Retroactive child support shall be determined by calculating the guideline using the parents’ incomes during the retroactive period and by considering the current ability to pay of the parent with a legal duty to pay support according to subsections (g) and (m) of this section.

(3) If the parent with a legal duty to pay support made voluntary payments or contributions to the child’s expenses during the retroactive period, and proves these payments or contributions, the judicial officer shall credit the payments or contributions against an award of retroactive child support.

(w) The Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations contained in Appendix I shall be used to determine child support under the guideline.

(x) The worksheets contained in Appendices II and III may be used to calculate child support obligations under the guideline. Refer to Worksheet B in Appendix III to calculate child support in cases involving shared physical custody pursuant to subsection (q) of this section. Refer to Worksheet A in Appendix II to calculate child support in all other cases.

(y) The Mayor shall recommend to the Council every 4 years whether the dollar values in subsections (g)(3), (h), (j)(1), (m)(2), and (m)(3) of this section should adjusted for inflation.


(July 25, 1990, D.C. Law 8-150, § 2(b), 37 DCR 3720; Sept. 26, 1990, D.C. Law 8-165, § 3, 37 DCR 4827; Mar. 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-217, § 3, 41 DCR 8040; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 18(e), 44 DCR 1271; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 10(g), 45 DCR 745; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-241, § 12, 46 DCR 905; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 106(h), 48 DCR 1270; Jan. 8, 2002, Pub. L. 107-114, § 2(d)(1), 115 Stat. 2106; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(k), 49 DCR 7827; Mar. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-130, § 202(c), 51 DCR 1615; May 24, 2005, D.C. Law 15-357, § 104, 52 DCR 1999; May 12, 2006, D.C. Law 16-100, § 2(h), 53 DCR 1886; June 22, 2006, D.C. Law 16-138, § 2(a), 53 DCR 3650; Mar. 20, 2008, D.C. Law 17-128, § 2(d), 55 DCR 1525; Dec. 10, 2009, D.C. Law 18-88, § 403, 56 DCR 7413; May 12, 2016, D.C. Law 21-107, § 2, 63 DCR 4311, 20 DCSTAT 3042.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-916.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-901, § 16-914, § 16-914.02, § 16-916, and § 46-204.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269, in subsec. (i), substituted “if payment of such expenses has not been addressed in the support order or in an agreement between the parties” for “absent an agreement between the parties” at the end of the first sentence and rewrote (o)(2), which formerly read:

“(2) Every 3 years, in cases being enforced under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1975 (88 Stat. 2351; 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.) (”IV-D program“), the Department of Human Services Office of Paternity and Child Support Enforcement and the Child Support Section of the Civil Division of the Office of the Corporation Counsel shall notify both the noncustodial and the custodial parent of the right to seek a modification of their child support order under the guidelines. The Department of Human Services Office of Paternity and Child Support Enforcement and the Child Support Section of the Civil Division of the Office of the Corporation Counsel shall establish a procedure for informing the noncustodial and custodial parent if a modification is warranted under the guideline.”

Pub. L. 107-114, in subsec. (o)(6), substituted “Family Court of the Superior Court” for “Family Division”.

D.C. Law 14-207, in subsec. (c), rewrote par. (17), made nonsubstantive changes to pars. (23) and (24), and added par. (25); added subsec. (c-1); in subsec. (j), added par. (3); in subsec. (n), inserted “In such shared custody situations, the judicial officer shall have the authority to order either parent to pay a portion of the following expenses for the child: extracurricular activities and lessons, visitation, transportation, private school tuition, school fees, day care, camp, unreimbursed or uninsured health care expenses, and other such expenses. The payments may be in addition to any award of child support.”; and added subsecs. (s) and (t). Par. (17) of subsec. (c) had read as follows: “(17) Spousal support received from a person who is not a party to the child support order;”

D.C. Law 15-130 added subsec. (h-1) and par. (2A) of subsec. (o).

D.C. Law 15-357 added par. (3A).

D.C. Law 16-100, in par. (o)(3A), substituted “specific facility (except where the parent is incarcerated for contempt for failure to pay child support pursuant to section 46-225.02),” for “specific facility,”.

D.C. Law 16-138 rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of § 16-916.1 1981 Ed. and 16-916.2 1981 Ed., see § 2 and 3 of the Child Support Guideline Amendment Emergency Act of 1989 (D.C. Act 8-127, December 21, 1989, 37 DCR 3).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3 of the Child Support Enforcement Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-322, August 4, 1994, 41 DCR 5373),§ 3 of the Child Support Enforcement Congressional Adjournment Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-328, October 21, 1994, 41 DCR 7158), and § 3 of the Child Support Enforcement Congressional Adjournment Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-4, January 19, 1995, 42 DCR 543).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 5(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(e) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 12 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-372, June 9, 1998, 45 DCR 4270), § 12 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-425, July 31, 1998, 45 DCR 5682), § 12 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-552, December 24, 1998, 46 DCR 521), and § 12 of the Self-Sufficiency Promotion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-19, February 17, 1999, 46 DCR 2492).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(j) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 106(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(c) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-485, October 3, 2002, 49 DCR 9631).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(c) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-600, January 7, 2003, 50 DCR 664).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(c) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-208, October 24, 2003, 50 DCR 9856).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(c) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-330, January 28, 2004, 51 DCR 1603).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(h) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-167, July 26, 2005, 52 DCR 7648).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(h) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-200, November 17, 2005, 52 DCR 10490).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Self-Support Reserve Revision Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-131, July 6, 2009, 56 DCR 5690).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 403 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-181, August 6, 2009, 56 DCR 6903).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 403 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-227, October 21, 2009, 56 DCR 8668).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of § 16-916.1 1981 Ed., see § 2(b) of the Child Support Guideline Amendment Temporary Act of 1989 (D.C. Law 8-90, March 15, 1990, law notification 37 DCR 2073).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 3 of the Child Support Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Law 10-210, March 14, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 1526).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(j) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(j) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12 of Self-Sufficiency Promotion Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-230, April 20, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 4143).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(i) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(j) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 202(c) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-238, March 25, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2751).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 202(c) of Medical Support Establishment and Enforcement Temporary Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-84, March 10, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3376).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(h) of the Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Temporary Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Law 16-42, December 10, 2005, law notification 52 DCR 11038).

Editor's Notes

Section 28(b)(2) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-916.1 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-916.01.

Applicability: Section 4 of D.C. Law 16-138 provided: “This act shall apply as of April 1, 2007.”

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority under D.C. Official Code § 16-916.01(g), to Update the Self-Support Reserve Component of the Child Support Guideline, see Mayor’s Order 2011-53, March 18, 2011 ( 58 DCR 2522).


§ 16–916.01a. — Appendices to § 16-916.01.

[APPENDICES I. Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations, II. Worksheet A: Sole Physical Custody, and III. Worksheet B: Shared Physical Custody to follow.]

Combined Adjusted Gross Income One Child Two Children Three Children Four or More Children
12,382 3,261 4,634 5,410 6,063
12,600 3,310 4,702 5,488 6,151
13,200 3,444 4,890 5,705 6,393
13,800 3,577 5,076 5,919 6,632
14,400 3,695 5,244 6,113 6,847
15,000 3,810 5,411 6,306 7,063
15,600 3,926 5,578 6,500 7,279
16,200 4,042 5,740 6,693 7,494
16,800 4,157 5,902 6,886 7,710
17,400 4,270 6,064 7,074 7,926
18,000 4,371 6,226 7,261 8,141
18,600 4,471 6,389 7,448 8,352
19,200 4,571 6,550 7,629 8,547
19,800 4,669 6,692 7,791 8,728
20,400 4,760 6,835 7,952 8,908
21,000 4,851 6,958 8,114 9,088
21,600 4,941 7,081 8,276 9,269
22,200 5,032 7,205 8,438 9,449
22,800 5,123 7,328 8,599 9,629
23,400 5,214 7,451 8,761 9,809
24,000 5,305 7,575 8,905 9,990
24,600 5,395 7,698 9,045 10,170
25,200 5,486 7,821 9,185 10,350
25,800 5,577 7,945 9,326 10,530
26,400 5,668 8,068 9,463 10,697
27,000 5,759 8,190 9,593 10,850
27,600 5,849 8,306 9,724 10,995
28,200 5,936 8,423 9,854 11,140
28,800 6,023 8,539 9,984 11,285
29,400 6,110 8,655 10,114 11,430
30,000 6,205 8,782 10,256 11,588
30,600 6,305 8,915 10,405 11,754
31,200 6,405 9,048 10,554 11,921
31,800 6,503 9,181 10,703 12,087
32,400 6,596 9,315 10,852 12,253
33,000 6,689 9,448 11,001 12,419
33,600 6,782 9,581 11,151 12,605
34,200 6,875 9,716 11,318 12,791
34,800 6,966 9,861 11,485 12,977
35,400 7,061 9,998 11,652 13,163
36,000 7,158 10,132 11,819 13,349
36,600 7,255 10,266 11,986 13,535
37,200 7,352 10,399 12,151 13,721
37,800 7,449 10,533 12,313 13,908
38,400 7,546 10,666 12,465 14,092
39,000 7,643 10,800 12,617 14,274
39,600 7,740 10,933 12,769 14,456
40,200 7,837 11,067 12,921 14,623
40,800 7,934 11,201 13,070 14,769
41,400 8,031 11,334 13,192 14,906
42,000 8,128 11,453 13,314 15,041
42,600 8,222 11,564 13,435 15,177
43,200 8,304 11,674 13,577 15,313
43,800 8,387 11,785 13,679 15,448
44,400 8,469 11,895 13,800 15,584
45,000 8,551 12,006 13,922 15,720
45,600 8,633 12,116 14,043 15,855
46,200 8,715 12,227 14,165 15,991
46,800 8,797 12,337 14,287 16,126
47,400 8,879 12,448 14,408 16,262
48,000 8,961 12,558 14,530 16,376
48,600 9,043 12,668 14,642 16,487
49,200 9,125 12,779 14,742 16,598
49,800 9,207 12,879 14,841 16,709
50,400 9,290 12,979 14,941 16,820
51,000 9,372 13,079 15,041 16,932
51,600 9,455 13,180 15,140 17,043
52,200 9,538 13,280 15,240 17,154
52,800 9,621 13,380 15,340 17,265
53,400 9,703 13,480 15,432 17,376
54,000 9,786 13,580 15,539 17,487
54,600 9,869 13,680 15,639 17,598
55,200 9,952 13,780 15,738 17,716
55,800 10,034 13,881 15,838 17,849
56,400 10,117 13,981 15,954 17,983
57,000 10,200 14,085 16,074 18,117
57,600 10,283 14,195 16,194 18,250
58,200 10,369 14,306 16,314 18,384
58,800 10,455 14,417 16,434 18,518
59,400 10,542 14,528 16,554 18,651
60,000 10,628 14,638 16,674 18,785
60,600 10,715 14,749 16,793 18,919
61,200 10,801 14,860 16,913 19,052
61,800 10,888 14,971 17,033 19,186
62,400 10,974 15,081 17,153 19,320
63,000 11,061 15,192 17,273 19,451
63,600 11,147 15,303 17,392 19,582
64,200 11,234 15,414 17,509 19,712
64,800 11,320 15,522 17,626 19,843
65,400 11,406 15,628 17,743 19,973
66,000 11,490 15,735 17,860 20,103
66,600 11,575 15,842 17,977 20,234
67,200 11,659 15,949 18,094 20,364
67,800 11,743 16,056 18,211 20,495
68,400 11,827 16,163 18,328 20,625
69,000 11,911 16,270 18,445 20,755
69,600 11,995 16,377 18,562 20,886
70,200 12,080 16,483 18,679 21,016
70,800 12,164 16,590 18,796 21,147
71,400 12,248 16,697 18,913 21,277
72,000 12,332 16,804 19,030 21,408
72,600 12,416 16,911 19,147 21,538
73,200 12,500 17,018 19,264 21,668
73,800 12,585 17,125 19,381 21,799
74,400 12,662 17,232 19,498 21,936
75,000 12,733 17,338 19,617 22,076
75,600 12,805 17,445 19,743 22,216
76,200 12,877 17,560 19,868 22,356
76,800 12,949 17,676 19,994 22,496
77,400 13,024 17,785 20,119 22,636
78,000 13,101 17,885 20,245 22,776
78,600 13,178 17,984 20,370 22,916
79,200 13,254 18,083 20,496 23,056
79,800 13,331 18,182 20,622 23,196
80,400 13,408 18,282 20,743 23,336
81,000 13,485 18,381 20,850 23,476
81,600 13,562 18,480 20,957 23,616
82,200 13,639 18,579 21,064 23,756
82,800 13,715 18,678 21,171 23,896
83,400 13,792 18,778 21,278 24,035
84,000 13,869 18,877 21,385 24,154
84,600 13,946 18,976 21,492 24,273
85,200 14,023 19,075 21,599 24,393
85,800 14,100 19,174 21,707 24,512
86,400 14,177 19,274 21,814 24,632
87,000 14,253 19,373 21,921 34,751
87,600 14,338 19,483 22,039 24,883
88,200 14,424 19,593 22,158 25,015
88,800 14,509 19,702 22,276 25,148
89,400 14,594 19,812 22,395 25,280
90,000 14,679 19,922 22,514 25,410
90,600 14,764 20,032 22,632 25,537
91,200 14,849 20,142 22,751 25,665
91,800 14,934 20,251 22,865 25,792
92,400 15,019 20,361 22,979 25,919
93,000 15,104 20,467 23,093 26,046
93,600 15,189 20,571 23,207 26,173
94,200 15,272 20,674 23,320 26,300
94,800 15,349 20,778 23,434 26,427
95,400 15,427 20,881 23,548 26,554
96,000 15,504 20,985 23,662 26,681
96,600 15,582 21,089 23,776 26,808
97,200 15,659 21,192 23,890 26,935
97,800 15,736 21,296 24,004 27,062
98,400 15,814 21,399 24,118 27,189
99,000 15,891 21,503 24,232 27,316
99,600 15,969 21,606 24,346 27,443
100,200 16,046 21,710 24,460 27,570
100,800 16,123 21,814 24,574 27,697
101,400 16,201 21,917 24,688 27,824
102,000 16,278 22,021 24,802 27,951
102,600 16,356 22,124 24,916 28,078
103,200 16,433 22,228 25,030 28,205
103,800 16,510 22,331 25,143 28,332
104,400 16,588 22,435 25,257 28,459
105,000 16,665 22,539 25,371 28,586
105,600 16,743 22,642 25,485 28,713
106,200 16,820 22,746 25,599 28,840
106,800 16,897 22,849 25,713 28,966
107,400 16,975 22,953 25,827 29,093
108,000 17,052 23,056 25,940 29,219
108,600 17,130 23,160 26,053 29,345
109,200 17,207 23,266 26,167 29,471
109,800 17,284 23,372 26,280 29,598
110,400 17,364 23,478 26,393 29,724
111,000 17,447 23,584 26,506 29,850
111,600 17,529 23,690 26,620 29,976
112,200 17,611 23,796 26,733 30,103
112,800 17,694 23,902 26,846 30,229
113,400 17,776 24,008 26,959 30,355
114,000 17,858 24,114 27,073 30,481
114,600 17,940 24,220 27,186 30,608
115,200 18,023 24,326 27,299 30,734
115,800 18,105 24,432 27,412 30,860
116,400 18,187 24,538 27,525 30,986
117,000 18,270 24,644 27,639 31,113
117,600 18,352 24,750 27,752 31,239
118,200 18,434 24,856 27,865 31,365
118,800 18,517 24,962 27,978 31,491
119,400 18,599 25,068 28,092 31,618
120,000 18,681 25,174 28,205 31,744
120,600 18,763 25,280 28,318 31,870
121,200 18,846 25,386 28,431 31,997
121,800 18,928 25,492 28,545 32,123
122,400 19,010 25,598 28,658 32,249
123,000 19,093 25,704 28,771 32,375
123,600 19,175 25,810 28,884 32,502
124,200 19,257 25,916 28,998 32,628
124,800 19,339 26,022 29,111 32,754
125,400 19,422 26,128 29,224 32,880
126,000 19,504 26,234 29,337 33,007
126,600 19,586 26,340 29,450 33,133
127,200 19,669 26,447 29,564 33,259
127,800 19,748 26,553 29,677 33,385
128,400 19,827 26,659 29,790 33,512
129,000 19,905 26,765 29,903 33,638
129,600 19,983 26,871 30,017 33,764
130,200 20,062 26,977 30,130 33,892
130,800 20,140 27,080 30,243 34,022
131,400 20,219 27,181 30,357 34,152
132,000 20,297 27,282 20,473 34,281
132,600 20,376 27,383 30,590 34,411
133,200 20,454 27,484 30,706 34,541
133,800 20,533 27,585 30,820 34,671
134,400 20,611 27,686 30,931 34,801
135,000 20,688 27,787 31,042 34,931
135,600 20,765 27,888 31,153 35,060
136,200 20,842 27,989 31,264 35,190
136,800 20,918 28,090 31,375 35,319
137,400 20,995 28,191 31,486 35,442
138,000 21,072 28,292 31,597 35,566
138,600 21,149 28,392 31,708 35,690
139,200 21,225 28,493 31,819 35,814
139,800 21,302 28,594 31,930 35,937
140,400 21,379 28,695 32,041 36,061
141,000 21,456 28,796 32,152 36,185
141,600 21,532 28,897 32,263 36,309
142,200 21,609 28,998 32,374 36,432
142,800 21,686 29,099 32,485 36,556
143,400 21,763 29,200 32,596 36,680
144,000 21,839 29,301 32,707 36,804
144,600 21,916 29,402 32,818 36,928
145,200 21,993 29,503 32,929 37,051
145,800 22,070 29,604 33,040 37,175
146,400 22,147 29,705 33,151 37,299
147,000 22,223 29,805 33,262 37,423
147,600 22,300 29,906 33,373 37,546
148,200 22,377 30,007 33,484 37,670
148,800 22,454 30,108 33,595 37,794
149,400 22,530 30,209 33,706 37,918
150,000 22,607 30,310 33,817 38,041
150,600 22,684 30,411 33,928 38,165
151,200 22,761 30,512 34,039 38,289
151,800 22,837 30,613 34,150 38,413
152,400 22,914 30,714 34,261 38,536
153,000 22,991 30,815 34,372 38,660
153,600 23,068 30,916 34,483 38,784
154,200 23,144 31,017 34,594 38,908
154,800 23,221 31,118 34,705 39,031
155,400 23,298 31,219 34,816 39,155
156,000 23,375 31,319 34,927 39,279
156,600 23,452 31,420 35,038 39,403
157,200 23,528 31,521 35,149 39,527
157,800 23,605 31,622 35,260 39,650
158,400 23,682 31,723 35,371 39,774
159,000 23,759 31,824 35,482 39,898
159,600 23,835 31,925 35,593 40,022
160,200 23,912 32,026 35,704 40,145
160,800 23,989 32,127 35,815 40,269
161,400 24,066 32,228 35,926 40,393
162,000 24,142 32,329 36,037 40,517
162,600 24,219 32,430 36,148 40,640
163,200 24,296 32,531 36,259 40,764
163,800 24,373 32,632 36,370 40,888
164,400 24,449 32,732 36,481 41,012
165,000 24,526 32,833 36,592 41,135
165,600 24,603 32,934 36,703 41,259
166,200 24,680 33,035 36,814 41,383
166,800 24,757 33,136 36,925 41,507
167,400 24,833 33,237 37,036 41,630
168,000 24,910 33,338 37,147 41,735
168,600 24,987 33,439 37,258 41,836
169,200 25,064 33,540 37,366 41,937
169,800 25,140 33,641 37,457 42,039
170,400 25,217 33,742 37,548 42,140
171,000 25,294 33,837 37,639 42,242
171,600 25,371 33,924 37,730 42,343
172,200 25,447 34,012 37,821 42,445
172,800 25,520 34,100 37,912 42,546
173,400 25,591 34,187 38,003 42,648
174,000 25,662 34,275 38,094 42,749
174,600 25,733 34,363 38,184 42,850
175,200 25,804 34,451 38,275 42,952
175,800 25,876 34,538 38,366 43,053
176,400 25,947 34,626 38,457 43,155
177,000 26,018 34,714 38,548 43,256
177,600 26,089 34,802 38,639 43,358
178,200 26,160 34,889 38,730 43,459
178,800 26,231 34,977 38,821 43,561
179,400 26,302 35,065 38,912 43,662
180,000 26,374 35,152 39,003 43,764
180,600 26,445 35,240 39,094 43,865
181,200 26,516 35,328 39,185 43,966
181,800 26,587 35,416 39,276 44,068
182,400 26,658 35,503 39,367 44,169
183,000 26,729 35,591 39,458 44,271
183,600 26,801 35,679 39,549 44,372
184,200 26,872 35,767 39,640 44,474
184,800 26,943 35,854 39,731 44,575
185,400 27,014 35,942 39,822 44,677
186,000 27,085 36,030 39,913 44,778
186,600 27,156 36,117 40,004 44,879
187,200 27,227 36,205 40,095 44,981
187,800 27,299 36,293 40,186 45,082
188,400 27,370 36,381 40,277 45,184
189,000 27,441 36,468 40,368 45,285
189,600 27,512 36,556 40,459 45,387
190,200 27,583 36,644 40,550 45,488
190,800 27,654 36,732 40,641 45,590
191,400 27,725 36,819 40,732 45,691
192,000 27,797 36,907 40,823 45,793
192,600 27,868 36,995 40,914 45,894
193,200 27,939 37,082 41,005 45,995
193,800 28,010 37,170 41,096 46,097
194,400 28,081 37,258 41,187 46,198
195,000 28,151 37,346 41,278 46,300
195,600 28,216 37,433 41,369 46,401
196,200 28,282 37,521 41,460 46,503
196,800 28,347 37,609 41,551 46,604
197,400 28,412 37,697 41,642 46,706
198,000 28,478 37,784 41,733 46,807
198,600 28,543 37,864 41,824 46,908
199,200 28,608 37,945 41,915 47,010
199,800 28,674 38,025 42,006 47,111
200,400 28,739 38,106 42,097 47,213
201,000 28,804 38,187 42,188 47,314
201,600 28,870 38,267 42,272 47,416
202,200 28,935 38,348 42,356 47,517
202,800 29,000 38,428 42,439 47,619
203,400 29,066 38,509 42,523 47,720
204,000 29,131 38,589 42,606 47,821
204,600 29,196 38,670 42,690 47,917
205,200 29,262 38,750 42,773 48,010
205,800 29,327 38,831 42,857 48,103
206,400 29,392 38,912 42,941 48,196
207,000 29,458 38,992 43,024 48,289
207,600 29,523 39,073 43,108 48,383
208,200 29,588 39,153 43,191 48,476
208,800 29,654 39,234 43,275 48,569
209,400 29,719 39,314 43,358 48,662
210,000 29,784 39,395 43,442 48,755
210,600 29,850 39,476 43,525 48,848
211,200 29,915 39,556 43,609 48,942
211,800 29,980 39,637 43,693 49,035
212,400 30,046 39,717 43,776 49,128
213,000 30,111 39,798 43,860 49,221
213,600 30,176 39,878 43,943 49,314
214,200 30,242 39,959 44,027 49,407
214,800 30,307 40,039 44,110 49,501
215,400 30,372 40,120 44,194 49,594
216,000 30,438 40,201 44,277 49,687
216,600 30,503 40,281 44,361 49,780
217,200 30,568 40,362 44,445 49,873
217,800 30,634 40,442 44,528 49,966
218,400 30,699 40,523 44,612 50,060
219,000 30,764 40,603 44,695 50,153
219,600 30,830 40,684 44,779 50,246
220,200 30,895 40,765 44,862 50,339
220,800 30,960 40,845 44,946 50,432
221,400 31,026 40,926 45,029 50,525
222,000 31,091 41,006 45,113 50,619
222,600 31,156 41,087 45,197 50,712
223,200 31,222 41,167 45,280 50,805
223,800 31,287 41,248 45,364 50,898
224,400 31,352 41,329 45,447 50,991
225,000 31,418 41,409 45,531 51,084
225,600 31,483 41,490 45,614 51,178
226,200 31,548 41,570 45,698 51,271
226,800 31,614 41,651 45,782 51,364
227,400 31,679 41,731 45,865 51,457
228,000 31,744 41,812 45,949 51,550
228,600 31,810 41,892 46,032 51,643
229,200 31,875 41,973 46,116 51,737
229,800 31,941 42,054 46,199 51,830
230,400 32,006 42,134 46,283 51,923
231,000 32,071 42,215 46,366 52,016
231,600 32,137 42,295 46,450 52,109
232,200 32,202 42,376 46,534 52,202
232,800 32,267 42,456 46,617 52,296
233,400 32,333 42,537 46,701 52,389
234,000 32,398 42,618 46,784 52,482
234,600 32,463 42,698 46,868 52,575
235,200 32,529 42,779 46,951 52,668
235,800 32,594 42,859 47,035 52,761
236,400 32,659 42,940 47,118 52,885
237,000 32,725 43,020 47,202 52,948
237,600 32,790 43,101 47,286 53,041
238,200 32,855 43,181 47,369 53,137
238,800 32,921 43,262 47,453 53,235
239,400 32,986 43,343 47,536 53,332
240,000 33,051 43,423 47,621 53,429

[The above appendices supplement § 16-916.01, Child Support Guideline.]



§ 16–916.02. Child Support Guideline Commission.

(a) There is established a Child Support Guideline Commission (“Commission”). The Commission shall study and make recommendations on the child support guidelines to the Mayor.

(b) The Commission shall consist of a chairperson and 8 members who are District of Columbia residents. The Chief Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia may appoint 2 members. The Mayor shall appoint the chairperson as well as 2 members, one of whom shall be a member of the District of Columbia Bar (“Bar”) and an expert in the fields of family law and child support. The Mayor shall also appoint one member to represent the Child Support Enforcement Division of the Office of the Corporation Counsel (“CSED”). The Council shall designate one Councilmember to serve on the Commission and shall appoint 2 additional members, one of whom shall be a member of the Bar and an expert in the fields of family law and child support.

(c)(1) Of the Commission members first appointed after the effective date of the Child Support Guideline Commission Restructuring Emergency Act of 2002 (“Commission Restructuring Act”) [July 23, 2002], one member appointed by the Chief Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the non-Bar member appointed by the Council, the Bar member appointed by the Mayor, and the CSED representative appointed by the Mayor shall serve 2-year terms. All of the other initial appointments after the effective date of the Commission Restructuring Act [July 23, 2002] shall serve 4-year terms. Thereafter, all Commission members shall serve for a term of 4 years from the date of appointment. A Commission member may be reappointed. A person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Commission occurring prior to the expiration of a term shall serve for the remainder of the term. A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

(2) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. A quorum shall be necessary for the Commission to conduct business.

(d) The functions of the Commission shall include:

(1) To review and recommend updates of the child support guidelines not less than once every 4 years.

(2) To review pertinent economic data, including poverty levels, and information on the functioning of the guidelines that the Commission gathers or that is brought to the attention of the Commission for the purpose of recommending changes to the guidelines.

(3) To hold a public meeting at least annually to receive oral or written comments from members of the Bar or the public. Thirty days public notice shall be given for a public meeting.

(4) To perform other tasks as necessary to develop, update, or monitor the guidelines and to ensure that the District of Columbia is in compliance with the federal mandates in section 467 of the Social Security Act, approved August 16, 1984 (98 Stat. 1321; 42 U.S.C. § 667).

(e) The Commission, as restructured pursuant to the Child Support Guideline Commission Restructuring Act [this section], shall convene no later than December 31, 2002, and shall issue initial recommendations no later than December 31, 2003.

(f) Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for any reasonable expense associated with service on the Commission.

(g) The Mayor shall provide sufficient space for the Commission to operate and may detail personnel to assist the Commission. The Mayor shall also direct any agency contacted by the Commission to give full cooperation to the Commission.


(July 25, 1990, D.C. Law 8-150, § 3, 37 DCR 3720; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-190, § 2902, 49 DCR 6968.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-916.2.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-523.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-190 rewrote the section.

Cross References

Mayoral nomination to Child Support Guideline Commission, review and approval of Council, see § 1-523.01.

Emergency Legislation

See note to § 16-916.01.

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2802 of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-453, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8026).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of § 16-916.2 1981 Ed., see § 2(b) of the Child Support Guideline Amendment Temporary Act of 1989 (D.C. Law 8-90, March 15, 1990, law notification 37 DCR 2073).

Short Title

Short title of title XXIX of Law 14-190: Section 2901 of D.C. Law 14-190 provided that title XXIX of the act may be cited as the Child Support Guideline Commission Restructuring Act of 2002.

Editor's Notes

Section 28(b)(2) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-916.2 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-916.02.


§ 16–916.03. Proceedings in which child support matters may be considered.

The court may consider child support matters, as it deems appropriate, in any proceeding to determine the care and custody of a minor child or children.


(Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-112, § 2(c), 43 DCR 574.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-916.3.

Editor's Notes

Section 28(b)(2) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-916.3 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-916.03.


§ 16–917. Co-respondents as defendants; service of process. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 562, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(l), 49 DCR 7827.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-917.

1973 Ed., § 16-917.


§ 16–918. Appointment of counsel; compensation; termination of appointment.

(a) In all cases under this chapter, where the court deems it necessary or proper, a disinterested attorney may be appointed by the court to enter his appearance for the defendant and actively defend the cause.

(b) In any proceeding wherein the custody of a child is in question, the court may appoint a disinterested attorney to appear on behalf of the child and represent his best interests.

(c) An attorney appointed under this section may receive such compensation for his services as the court determines to be proper, which the court may order to be paid by either or both of the parties.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or any rule of court, the appearance of an attorney in any action under this chapter before a court of original jurisdiction shall be deemed to have terminated for the purpose of service of any motion, process, or any other pleading, upon completion of the case ending in a judgment, adjudication, decree, or final order from which no appeal has been taken when the time allowed for an appeal expires, and, if notice of appeal has been entered, upon the date of the final disposition of the appeal. There shall be no action required of any person or attorney under this subsection, but the court having jurisdiction over the matter may suspend the termination of the appearance on its own motion, or on the motion of any party to the case prior to the expiration of the time for appeal.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 562; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 557, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(e)(3)(A); Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 110, 23 DCR 8737.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-918.

1973 Ed., § 16-918.


§ 16–919. Proof required on default or admission of defendant.

A decree for a divorce, or a decree annulling a marriage, may not be rendered on default, without proof; and an admission contained in the answer of the defendant may not be taken as proof of the facts charged as the ground of the application, but shall be proved by other evidence in all cases.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1, 77 Stat. 562.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-919.

1973 Ed., § 16-919.


§ 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.”


§ 16–921. Validity of marriage, action to determine.

When the validity of an alleged marriage is denied by either of the parties thereto the other party may institute an action for affirming the marriage, and upon due proof of the validity thereof the court shall decree it to be valid. The decree shall be conclusive upon all parties concerned.


(Dec. 23, 1963, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; 77 Stat. 563.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-921.

1973 Ed., § 16-921.


§ 16–922. Validity of marriages and divorces solemnized or pronounced before January 1, 1902.

This chapter does not invalidate any marriage solemnized according to law before January 1, 1902, or any decree or judgment of divorce pronounced before that date.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 563, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-922.

1973 Ed., § 16-922.


§ 16–923. Abolition of action for breach of promise, alienation of affections, and criminal conversation.

Causes of action for breach of promise, alienation of affections, and criminal conversation are hereby abolished.


(Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-107, title I, § 111(a), 23 DCR 8737.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-923.

1973 Ed., § 16-923.


§ 16–924. Expedited judicial hearing for child support.

(a) In any case brought under D.C. Official Code, section 11-1101(1), (3), (10), or (11), involving the establishment or enforcement of child support, or in any case seeking to modify an existing child support order, where a magistrate judge in the Family Court of the Superior Court finds that there is an existing duty of support, the magistrate judge shall conduct a hearing on support and, within 30 days from the conclusion of the hearing, the magistrate judge shall issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law that shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) The name and relationship of the parties;

(2) The name, age, and any exceptional information about the child;

(3) The duty of support owed;

(4) The amount of monthly support payments;

(5) The annual earnings of the parents;

(6) The social security number of the parents;

(7) The name, address, and telephone number of each parent’s employer;

(8) The name, address, and telephone number of any person, organization, corporation, or government entity that holds real or personal assets of the obligor; and

(9) A statement that a responsible relative is bound by this order to notify the Court within 10 days of any change in address or employment.

(b) The alleged responsible relative may be represented by counsel at any stage of the proceedings.

(c) If in a case under subsection (a) of this section the magistrate judge finds that the case involves complex issues requiring judicial resolution, the magistrate judge shall establish a temporary support obligation and refer unresolved issues to a judge, except that the magistrate judge shall not establish a temporary support order if parentage is at issue.

(d) In cases under subsections (a) and (c) of this section in which the magistrate judge finds that there is a duty of support and the individual owing that duty has been served or given notice of the proceedings under any applicable statute or court rule, if that individual fails to appear or otherwise respond, the magistrate judge shall enter a default order.

(e) Subject to subsection (f) of this section, the findings of the magistrate judge shall constitute a final order of the Superior Court.

(f) A review of the magistrate judge’s findings in a case under subsections (a) and (c) of this section may be made by a judge of the Family Court sua sponte and shall be made upon the motion of 1 of the parties, which shall be filed within 30 days after the judgment. An appeal to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals may be made only after a hearing is held in the Superior Court.


(Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-166, § 33(a)(5)(B), 33 DCR 6710; Mar. 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-223, § 2(f), 41 DCR 8051; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81,§ 10(h), 45 DCR 745; Jan. 8, 2002, Pub. L. 107-114, §§ 2(d)(2), 5(a)(2), 115 Stat. 2101, 2113; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-207, § 2(n), 49 DCR 7827.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-924.

Effect of Amendments

Pub. L. 107-114 substituted “magistrate judge” for “hearing commissioner” wherever it appears in the section; in subsecs. (a) and (f), substituted “Family Court” for “Family Division”; and, in subsec. (f), substituted “magistrate judge’s” for “hearing commissioner’s”.

D.C. Law 14-207, in the section heading, added “for child support” after “Expedited judicial hearing”.

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue rules: See note to § 16-909.02.


§ 16–925. Privacy protection for victims of domestic violence.

(a) The Mayor shall promulgate rules and establish procedures to implement safeguards, applicable to all confidential information handled by the IV-D agency or executive branch agencies in cooperative agreements with the IV-D agency, to protect the privacy rights of parties in IV-D agency proceedings. These safeguards shall include the following:

(1) Prohibitions against the unauthorized use or disclosure of information relating to paternity, support, or custody actions in IV-D agency proceedings;

(2) Prohibitions against the release of information concerning the whereabouts of one party or a child to another party, if a protection order has been entered (in the District or in another jurisdiction) to protect the party or the child whose whereabouts are being sought from the party seeking disclosure;

(3) Prohibitions against release of information concerning the whereabouts of one party or a child to another party if the Mayor has reason to believe that the release of the information may result in physical or emotional harm to the party or the child whose whereabouts are being sought;

(4) Requirements to notify the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when:

(A) The Mayor has reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse against a party or a child; or

(B) The disclosure of information concerning the whereabouts of the party or the child could be harmful to the party or the child; and

(5) In cases where the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“Department”) has informed the IV-D agency that the Department has been notified that there is reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, requirements to determine whether disclosure of information concerning a party’s or child’s whereabouts to any other person would be harmful to a party or the child, and if so, to prohibit the disclosure.

(b) The Superior Court shall establish procedures to implement safeguards, applicable to all confidential information possessed by the Superior Court, to protect the privacy rights of parties in paternity or support proceedings. These safeguards shall include:

(1) Prohibitions against unauthorized use or disclosure of information relating to paternity, support, or custody actions in Superior Court proceedings;

(2) Prohibitions against the release of information concerning the whereabouts of one party or a child to another party, if a protection order has been entered (in the District or in another jurisdiction) to protect the party or the child whose whereabouts are being sought from the party seeking disclosure;

(3) Prohibitions against release of information concerning the whereabouts of one party or a child to another party if the Superior Court has reason to believe that the release of information may result in physical or emotional harm to the party or the child whose whereabouts are being sought;

(4) Requirements to notify the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services when:

(A) The Superior Court has reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse against a party or a child; or

(B) The disclosure of information concerning the whereabouts of the party or the child could be harmful to the party or the child; and

(5) In cases where the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“Department”) has informed the Superior Court that the Department has been notified that there is reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, requirements to determine whether disclosure of information concerning a party’s or child’s whereabouts to any other person would be harmful to a party or the child, and if so, to prohibit the disclosure.


(Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 106(i), 48 DCR 1270.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-2348 and § 46-226.02.

Cross References

Superior court, family division, exclusive jurisdiction, see § 11-1101.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of § 16-925, see § 5(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary addition of § 16-925, see § 105(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) addition of § 16-925 1981 Ed., see § 105(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) addition of § 16-925 1981 Ed., see § 105(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) addition of § 16-925 1981 Ed., see § 105(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 105(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 106(i) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 5(k) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 5(k) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 105(k) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).