State Laws

Delaware Divorce


Delaware Divorce
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.

Divorce Proceedings
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.

Distributing Properties

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.

See also:
Delaware Felony
Delaware Gun Laws
Delaware Bankruptcy
Delaware Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Delaware Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Delaware Lemon Law External link (opens in new window)