Delaware Divorce Law

An Overview of the Delaware Divorce State Law

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Delaware Divorce Laws Explained

Delaware Residency Requirements For Divorce

Either spouse must have lived in Delaware for at least six months before filing Delaware divorce forms.

Grounds For Divorce In Delaware

Delaware recognizes one fault ground and one no-fault ground for divorce.

The no-fault grounds for divorce in Delaware is:

  • irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

The fault based grounds for divorce in Delaware is:

  • separation caused by mental illness. Proof of this must be had in order to properly file for fault based divorce.
Delaware Child Custody

Parents may agree to joint or sole legal and physical custody of children when filing Delaware divorce papers. Sole custody gives a parent the right to participate in decision making involving the children, while physical custody outlines which house the children will reside in. The courts will decide child custody with the best interests of the child in mind in contested divorce cases. The court shall order the parties with children 17 years old and younger to pay for and participate in a "Parenting Education Course," unless the court determines the course unnecessary.

The following are some of the factors to be considered in any custody determination:

  • wishes of the child;
  • wishes of the parents;
  • bond between parent and child;
  • child’s adjustment to home, school, and/or community;
  • mental and physical health and well being of all involved.
Delaware Child Support Guidelines

Unless special circumstances are present, the courts calculate child support based on the official child support guidelines. Child support will continue until the child reaches adulthood, and may be extended through his or her secondary education.

Venue

Delaware divorce forms may be filed in the petitioner’s or respondent’s county of residence.

Mediation

Before or after filing Delaware divorce forms, either party may agree to submit their disputed issues to mediation, and then proceed on an uncontested basis.