• Washington, DC Divorce Attorney (202) 596-5716
    Washington, DC Divorce Attorney (202) 596-5716 Divorce, Collaborative Divorce, Child Custody, Family Law, Prenuptial Agreements

Divorce and Illness in Washington, DC

In sickness and in health are vows exchanged at most weddings.  According to a recent article in Huffington Post, this is not always the case.

This article features a new study from the Journal of Health and Social Behavior which suggests when the wife gets seriously ill, marriages consisting of spouses over the age of 50 are more likely to end up with the parties getting a divorce.  The study conducted at the Iowa State University involved nearly 3,000 married couples whose spouses were over the age of 50.

This 12-year-study examined whether a diagnosis of cancer, heart decease, stroke, and lung diseases had any effect of divorce rates.  The findings were that when a wife became seriously ill, there was a six percent increase in divorce rates for those couples, while at the same time, when the husband became terminally or seriously ill, there was no increase in divorce rates.

These results obviously garnered a great deal of attention with many emotionally charged responses.  Researchers quoted in the article said many women told them this happened to them.  It was common for women to come forward and say after they were diagnosed with lung cancer, their husband asked for a divorce.

While much of the emotional response is understandable, it is important to keep in mind most divorces occur with parties much younger than 50 years of age.  Most divorces actually occur in marriages where the average age of the spouses is 30.  Conversely, research has shown in younger couples a husband’s illness often lead to divorce.

The study did not look at the reasons to why there was an increased rate of divorce when the wife became sick.  Another interesting point about that this study was researchers could not definitively establish which spouse was asking for a divorce when the wife became sick.  While common sense would lead people to assume it was the husband asking for a divorce, some research suggests the possibility wives were not satisfied with the level of caregiving being received from their husbands.   An additional rational for why a wife recently diagnosed with a serious medical condition would ask for a divorce was that she was already not happy in the marriage, and this was a life-changing event that triggered action.

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Washington, DC Child Support Hearings

In Washington, DC you can request an order for temporary child support regardless of whether or not you have an ongoing divorce case or child custody case.  However, the process can be quite confusing.

How does a child support case start in Washington, DC?

Generally, a child support matter begins in the District of Columbia with one party (the petitioner) filing a request for a temporary child support order with the DC Family Court. The party must then serve a stamped copy of the notice of hearing on the other party (the respondent).  A hearing will be held within 45 days of the order being filed pursuant to District of Columbia law.

What happens at a Washington, DC child support hearing?

When you arrive for a hearing, you will sign in, and be giving an opportunity to meet and negotiate an agreement before seeing a magistrate judge.  If you can reach an agreement, the judge will want you to have already calculated what the guideline rate would be based upon the parties’ income, child care expenses, child health care expenses, and other financial figures. The child support guidelines can be difficult to understand, but your Washington, DC child support attorney can assist with this process, and help you negotiate an agreement. 

What happens if the parties reach an agreement?

If the parties are able to reach an agreement to amount at guideline rates, or above or below the guidelines, the judge will require the parties to complete a four-part proposed order prior to the hearing. Your child support lawyer can also assist you with this process.

What happens if the parties cannot reach an agreement?

In a Washington, DC child support case, when the parties cannot reach an agreement, the judge will hold a contested hearing in which parties can present evidence and examine witnesses pursuant to the rules of court and procedure.

What is a Temporary Child Support Order in Washington, DC?

During the initial hearing, the judge may set a temporary child support order.  The parties will be expected to return to court at later status date, to determine if the temporary order should be made permanent.   If the parties did not bring proof of their financial information to the first hearing, they may be required to submit proof at the second hearing. 

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Practice Areas

  • Washington, DC Divorce +

    Getting a divorce can be one of the most difficult decisions of your life. Whether you were married recently or Read More
  • Washington, DC Child Custody and Visitation Law +

    Litigating child support issues can be one of the more complex and emotional issues in any divorce or family law Read More
  • Washington, DC Child Support +

    Child support is one of the most heavily litigated areas of Washington, DC divorce and family law cases. Sometimes, the Read More
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