Delaware Divorce Laws 0

In: Delaware

Divorce Law Basics in the State of Delaware

Also See: Delaware Marriage Laws

Statute: Delaware State Divorce Code (Title 13, Chapter 15): delcode.delaware.gov

No-Fault Grounds:

  • Irretrievable breakdown – characterized by 1)Voluntary separation; 2)Separation as a result of defendant’s conduct; 3) Separation as a result of defendant’s mental illness; or 4) Separation caused by incompatibility

At-Fault Grounds: Delaware’s only “no fault” grounds would be #2 as listed above – separation as a result of defendant’s conduct.

Residency: Either party must have been a resident continuously for 6 months or more prior to filing.

Legal Separation Recognized? Yes. The court requires the parties to be separated – defined as not sleeping in the same bed or having sexual relations except in the case of an attempt to reconcile – for at least 30 days prior to the day the court hears the divorce petition.

Counseling Requirements: In cases where there are children, the court will order both parents to participate in an educational course unless the court deems it is not necessary.

Property Distribution: Delaware relies on “equitable distribution” so the court will distribute the marital property “in an equitable manner” if the parties can’t agree on their own. Separate property (property acquired prior to the marriage, as a gift or through inheritance) is not included in property distribution.

Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either party and is at the discretion of the judge. While the judge is not required to consider fault when determining alimony, the conduct of the parties can be a factor in the decision process.

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