Overview of Divorce in Delaware

The following is an overview of divorce in Delaware. Divorce in Delaware may be filed solely on the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, with property divided according to the “equitable distribution” principle, and spouse and child support determined by percentage of income model.

Residency and Filing Requirements

In order to file for a divorce in Delaware, at least one of the two parties must have resided in the state for at least 6 months prior to commencement of the action. The action may be filed in the home county of either spouse.

Grounds for Filing

Divorce in Delaware is granted solely on the grounds that the court finds the marriage is irretrievably broken and that reconciliation is improbable. The marriage is irretrievably broken when parties are voluntarily separated, separation is caused by a party’s misconduct or mental illness, or separation is caused by incompatibility. Bona fide temporary efforts at reconciliation shall not interrupt any period of living apart provided the parties have not occupied the same bed nor had sex within the 30 days prior to the petition for divorce.

If you have any questions regarding divorce click here to contact a divorce attorney near you right now.

Property Distribution

Delaware is an "equitable distribution" state. Marital property shall be divided equitably although not necessarily evenly. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement the court will determine property distribution, considering length of marriage, any prior marriage, age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties, whether the property award is instead of or in addition to alimony, the economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property, whether the property was acquired by gift, debts of both parties and other factors.

Restoration or Name Change

The court, upon request of a party, may order that the party reassume their maiden name or former name.

Spousal Support

Not all cases will involve support from one spouse to another.  Temporary or permanent support is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or decided by the court, considering financial resources of the party seeking alimony, time necessary and expense required to acquire sufficient education to find employment, standard of living established during the marriage, duration of the marriage, age, physical and emotional condition of both parties, financial or other contribution made by either party to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning capacity of the other party, ability of the other party to meet their needs while paying alimony and other factors.

Counseling or Mediation Requirements

In contested cases the court may, with the consent of both parties postpone the hearing so that the parties may seek counseling, although no party who objects shall be forced to submit to counseling.

Child Custody and Support

If the parents cannot agree on issues involving children, the court will establish custody, considering all relevant factors including the child’s wishes, and adjustment to his or her home or community, among other factors.

Delaware bases child support on the Percentage of Income formula, calculating support as a percentage of the income.

If you have any questions regarding divorce click here to contact a divorce attorney near you right now.