Delaware Divorce Laws

Residency requirements for divorce in Delaware

In order to get a divorce in the state of Delaware one of the spouses must apply to the Family Court of the State and meet certain requirements. These are as follows:

  • One of both of the spouses must have resided in the state of Delaware for at least a period of 6 months
  • Or they should have been stationed in Delaware if they are a member of the armed forces
  • The divorce may be filed in the state that either of the spouses resides Delaware Code – Title 13 – Chapters: 1504, 1507

Grounds for divorce in Delaware

To be able to go to the courts for divorce you must meet certain requirements and these are that the marriage has broken down beyond the point of being repaired and reconciliation is not possible. The following are taken into account:

  1. Voluntary separation by the spouses
  2. Separation which was caused by misconduct
  3. Separation due to mental illness
  4. Separation caused due to incompatibility

Property division facts

Where possible property division will be made by the spouses under the marital settlement agreement, however if this is not possible then the courts will divide the property and assets in an equitable fashion. They will consider the following:

  • Property will be processed to classify which is classed as being marital property
  • This marital property will then be valued
  • The monetary value will be shared equitably

The courts will consider the following when dividing property equitably:

  • The duration of the marriage and whether there have been previous marriages
  • The ages, health and station in life of both spouses
  • The amount and sources of income of both parties
  • The skills and employability of the spouses
  • What opportunities there are for each spouse to obtain assets in the future
  • Whether property awarded is in lieu of alimony
  • The economic and financial status of each spouse at the time of property division

Child custody

The courts would prefer that child custody issues be decided by parents. However if this is not possible they will endeavour to set child custody through the courts. The best interests of the child will be accounted for and the courts will bear in mind the factors below:

  • The wishes of the child’s parents as to the child custody agreement
  • The wishes of the child themselves
  • The interaction between the child and their parent
  • The interaction between grandparents, other relatives and siblings
  • The adjustment of the child to surroundings, environment and community
  • The mental and physical health of all involved
  • Any past and present compliances by parents
  • Any evidence of abuse

Child support issues when divorcing in Delaware

The court states that both parents have equal responsibility to their children and so both of the spouses may have to contribute towards child support. When awarding child custody the following issues will be taken into consideration by the courts:

  • The financial resources of the child
  • Standard of living the child would have had if the parents were not divorcing
  • The age of the parents and their health
  • How much earnings of the parents are
  • Sources of incomes of the parents
  • The age and health of the child
  • The financial means of the parents
  • The estate and the needs of the child Delaware Code Annotated; Title 13, Chapters 501, 514, and 701

The child support will be worked out via a child support worksheet and this will bear any of the above in mind.