Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Delaware No Fault Divorce


Delaware is the state which grants divorce on both the grounds: fault and no fault grounds. According to Delaware no-fault divorce laws, divorce would be granted if a spouse files that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down” due to “incompatibility in temperament” or “irreconcilable differences”. No-fault divorce laws in Delaware specify that none of the spouse need to prove that the other spouse had indulged in major “wrong doing” such as adultery or desertion or mental/physical cruelty. On the basis of the following factors no-fault divorce is granted:
  • There is a voluntary separation between the spouses.
  • The reason for separation has been the conduct of the respondent.
  • If the respondent is mentally ill and that has been the cause of separation.
  • The voluntary separation is due to incompatibility of temperament.
Separation period in Delaware no-fault divorce

According to Delaware no-fault divorce laws, the minimum separation period for no-fault grounds of divorce is 6-months.

Residential requirements in Delaware no-fault divorce

It is required that the spouse who files for divorce must be residing in the state of Delaware for at least 6-months preceding the date of filing the divorce. One must file the divorce papers in the county of Delaware where either of the spouses resides.

Final hearing of the no-fault divorce case is faster if the judges find that the separation period and residential requirements are met with by the plaintiff. It is much faster if the case is also uncontested, meaning that the two divorcing spouses have decided to settle the cases of child custody, spousal support and property division outside the court. In such circumstance, there is no need to even attend the hearing and the judge simply signs the decree of “dissolution of marriage”. If there are disputes among the spouses regarding these matters, then the adversarial contesting takes place in the courts and divorce proceedings may take more time.

Choosing fault grounds or no-fault grounds for divorce

In many cases, spouses choose to file for divorce on the basis of no-fault grounds even if there has been a history of “wrongdoing” on the part of the other spouse. This is because they wish to avoid the messier conflicts arising in fault grounds of divorce in the courts. Also messy court dealings in the courts may have a bad impact on the children. But in some cases, spouses wish to file for divorce on fault-grounds to get an edge over the other spouse on child custody matters or property division. Thus, one must take the advice of an attorney before filing for divorce.

Property division in no-fault divorce

Delaware has the rule of equitable distribution of property where the marital property is divided fairly among the spouse though not exactly “equally”. The property which was acquired by a spouse before the marriage may not be equitably divided and may revert back to the spouse who had acquired it. However, judges often look at the causes of separation to determine who gets a fair share of property and that there is no negative financial impact on either of the spouses after the divorce.

Child custody and DE no-fault divorce

According to DE no-fault divorce laws, child custody and child support issues are dealt with the premise that the best interests of the child are not compromised. If the presence of one parent is not detrimental to the child then they could be awarded joint custody and one parent may get the prime physical custody while the other parent gets the visitation rights. Child support is mandatory to be extended in all conditions, whether it is “no-fault” grounds of divorce or “fault” grounds.


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