The amount of time an individual is required to be a state resident for
divorce proceedings depends on the state of residency. In Delaware
individuals are required to be residents for a minimum of six months
before they are eligible to file for a Delaware divorce.
Delaware law also requires that those seeking divorce be fully
separated from each other and not participating in sexual activities
with one another or sleeping in the same room with one another. If both
individuals are state residents then divorce paperwork is to be filed
to either county circuit courthouse. If only one spouse resides in the
state of Delaware then the paperwork is to be filed in his or her
county of residency.
Delaware Grounds for Divorce
The United States stipulates that all divorce proceedings must be based
on legal grounds. This means that the reasons for a divorce must lie
under one of the state's divorce grounds. Upon filing for divorce the
circuit court will enter a divorce decree for why the marriage has been
deemed irretrievably broken and no reconcile is possible. The four
grounds for separation include separation on a voluntary basis,
separation due to misconduct of a spouse, separation due to the mental
illness of a spouse, or the separation due to spousal incompatibility.
All efforts towards reconciling the marriage before the divorce
proceedings shall be taken into consideration. This includes sleeping
in the same room without sexual activity and must be completed within
thirty days of petitioning the court for divorce.
If the petition for divorce has not be contested and an answer of
agreement has been responded within the twenty-day time limit, then the
divorce proceedings will automatically be presented to the Family
Court. Legal separation is required before filing. Separation can
include living in the same house but individuals must sleep in
different bedrooms to have the separation be legal.
Delaware does not require that all the property obtained during the
marriage be separated equally. As an equitable distribution state,
Delaware law states that the property only needs to be divided fairly
between the two individuals. Without regarding marital misconduct, the
court has the power to assign the property to the individuals.
Several factors will be taken into consideration before the court makes
any decisions. These factors include the amount of time the marriage
lasted, prior marriages of the individuals, the age of the individuals,
the incomes and resources of the individuals, the station and
liabilities of the individuals, the employment skills of the
individuals, any outstanding debts, consequences of taxes, the value of
the property, the contribution to the household, capital assets, the
economic statuses of the individuals, and receiving the property as a
gift. The court will also consider if the property should be
distributed along with the granting of alimony.
If the property was obtained as a gift to only one of the individuals,
he or she has a right to keep this item. Any gifts received from each
other whiles a couple may also be distributed accordingly.