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Delaware Divorce Information

The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of divorce in the State of Delaware.

You can get more specific information regarding Delaware divorce laws using the links provided to Delaware divorce laws or at your local library.

This information is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking any action you should seek the advice of an attorney familiar with the laws in the state in which you will be seeking a divorce.

Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.

Delaware Divorce Resources

Residency Requirements 6 months
Where to File County where either spouse resides
Grounds for Divorce The Court shall enter a decree of divorce whenever it finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that reconciliation is improbable. A marriage is irretrievably broken where it is characterized by:
  • Voluntary separation; or
  • Separation caused by respondent's misconduct; or
  • Separation caused by respondent's mental illness; or
  • Separation caused by incompatibility.
Voluntary or required mediation Yes
Voluntary or recommended Counseling Yes
Property Distribution Delaware laws allow the court to equitably divide, distribute and assign the marital property between the parties without regard to marital misconduct, in such proportions as the Court deems just after considering all relevant factors including:
  • The length of the marriage;
  • Any prior marriage of the party
  • The 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 in lieu of or in addition to alimony
  • The opportunity of each for future acquisitions of capital assets and income
  • The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker, husband, or wife
  • The value of the property set apart to each party
  • The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the party with whom any children of the marriage will live
  • Whether the property was acquired by gift, except property acquired by an individual spouse by bequest, devise or descent or by gift, except gifts between spouses, provided the gifted property is titled and maintained in the sole name of the donee spouse, or a gift tax return is filed reporting the transfer of the gifted property in the sole name of the donee spouse or a notarized document, executed before or contemporaneously with the transfer, is offered demonstrating the nature of the transfer.
  • The debts of the parties
  • Tax consequences
Child Custody The Court will determine legal and physical custody for a child in accordance with the best interests of the child. In determining the best interests of the child, the Court shall consider all relevant factors including:
  • The wishes of the child's parent or parents as to his or her custody and residential arrangements
  • The wishes of the child as to his or her custodian(s) and residential arrangements
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, grandparents, siblings, persons cohabiting in the relationship of husband and wife with a parent of the child, any other residents of the household or persons who may significantly affect the child's best interests
  • The child's adjustment to his or her home, school and community
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
  • Past and present compliance by both parents with their rights and responsibilities to their child
  • Evidence of domestic violence
Child Support Either or both parents may be required to provide the support of maintenance, insurance, and education of the child. There are specific guidelines to be followed, unless when proven to be unjust. In determining the amount of support due to one to whom the duty of support has been found to be owing, the Court, among other things, shall consider:
  • The health, relative economic condition, financial circumstance, income, including the wages, and earning capacity of the parties, including the children
  • The manner of living to which the parties have been accustomed when they were living under the same roof
  • The general equities inherent in the situation. (59 Del. Laws, c. 567, § 1.)
Spousal Support A party in Delaware can be awarded alimony only if he or she:
  • Is dependent upon the other party for support and the other party is not contractually or otherwise obligated to provide that support after the entry of a divorce decree
  • Lacks sufficient property, including any award of marital property made by the Court, to provide for his or her reasonable needs
  • Is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that he or she not be required to seek employment
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the obligation to pay future alimony is terminated upon the death of either party, or the remarriage or cohabitation of the party receiving alimony. "Cohabitation" means regularly residing with an adult of the same or opposite sex, if the parties hold themselves out as a couple, and regardless of whether the relationship confers a financial benefit on the party receiving alimony. Proof of sexual relations is admissible but not required to prove cohabitation. A party receiving alimony shall promptly notify the other party of his or her remarriage or cohabitation

Delaware Divorce Attorneys by County

Click on any DE county below to find a divorce attorney in your area.

New Castle

Delaware Divorce Mediators by County

Click on any DE county below to find a divorce mediator in your area.

New Castle

This information has been compiled directly from the most recently available statutes online for each state. Every effort has been made to assure that this information is correct and complete. Be aware that laws frequently change. Do not take any action based on this information without first consulting an attorney to be certain that the laws pertaining to your particular situation have not changed.

The language used in most cases on this page is legal terminology taken directly from the statutes and laws of each state. The terminology is not always easy to understand. If you are not sure of something you should consult an attorney so that you can fully understand the meaning of the laws.

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Do not take any actions based upon the information contained within this web site without first consulting an attorney or an appropriate professional depending upon the content of the information.