Delaware Family Law

Delaware laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute TITLE 13 Domestic Relations
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. Fault based and no-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Equitable Distribution
a. Methods of apportionment
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA
b. Property distribution factors § 1513 Disposition of marital property; imposition of lien; insurance policies.
4. Legal separation? Yes
a. Waiting period/Separation period 6 months
5. Is mediation required Generally, yes
6. Forms used Delaware State Court Divorce Forms
7. Alimony guidelines and factors §1512 Alimony in divorce and annulment actions; award; limitations.
Alimony formula None
a. Types Generally, permanent only for marriages greater than 20 years.  Delaware courts consider alimony to be rehabilitative.
b. Term Limits less than 20  years is limited to 1/2 of marriage.  Over 20 years is unlimited
Cohabitation Alimony ends upon cohabitation unless otherwise agreed - Delaware Code Title 13 Section 1512
c. Imputing income Yes if he or she is able to work, but is unemployed or underemployed due to his or her own fault or voluntary decision. Income may also be attributed when a parent fails to appear in child support court, or appears in court, but is unprepared or unwilling to provide sufficient income information.
d. Change in circumstances Delaware courts will impute income for voluntary unemployment, unemployment due to misconduct, underemployment, and other reasons.
e. Ceases on retirement
Impute income on early retirement
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income 513 b(5)
8. Child support factors and guidelines Delaware child support
9. Child support calculator Delaware child support calculator
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed? Yes
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Trial
b. Goodwill divisibility Personal goodwill is not divisible.  Enterprise goodwill is divisible. - E.E.C. v. E.J.C., 457 A.2d 688 (Del. 1983)
c. Standard of value Fair market value
d. Discounts Discounts not allowed - Cavalier Oil Corp v Harnett
e. Shareholder/partner agreements
 12. Double dip  Impermissable double dip, not issue because personal goodwill not divisible
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts  
 c. Child support
 13. Key cases  
 14. Premarital agreements  See Title 13 Chapter 3 of Delaware Code - Parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to the modification or elimination of spousal support or alimony DE ST TI 13 § 323
 15. Common law  No


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