Divorce papers in Delaware — filing for divorce in DE

Online divorce in Delaware

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How to get divorce in Delaware

Online Divorce provides qualitative and approved by the Delaware court divorce papers. The information below may help to understand more about the divorce in Delaware. onlinedivorce.com provides quick and inexpensive services of online divorce in Delaware.
The key steps of how to get a divorce in Delaware are


To get a divorce in the state of Delaware the marriage must be recognized by the state law.


The couple must comply with the state's requirements for residence until the time the suit is filed.


The couple must have grounds for divorce. Delaware is a no-fault state, in other words, the spouses don't need to prove the other party's misconduct.


The parental rights and liabilities, as well as property, assets, and debts, must be divided by the parties independently or by the court decision.


The Delaware divorce papers must be filled out and submitted to the court. Online Divorce may help with preparing all the necessary documents that correspond to the particular divorce case.


The copies of the divorce paperwork should be delivered to the non-filing spouse (Defendant) by one of the officially-allowed methods. Then the court needs some time (up to several months) to consider the case and grant a divorce decree.


To obtain a divorce in the state of Delaware, the parties must comply with the requirements for residence. Either spouse must reside in the state of Delaware for 6 months before filing a lawsuit.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Delaware

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Divorce in Delaware can be granted based on the no-fault or fault grounds. The only no-fault reason is that the marriage is considered irretrievably broken.
Generally, the grounds for divorce in Delaware are


The parties do not voluntarily cohabit and both agree on it (within 6 months before filing the petition);


Separation due to mental illness of one spouse;


Physical or psychological abuse; Adultery; Willful desertion.

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Annulment of the marriage in Delaware

Annulment is one of the ways to end the marriage in Delaware. However, there is a nuance: in order for a couple to cancel their marriage, they must prove that it does not have legal force. This means that the marriage was concluded with violations of the law and is not recognized by the state of Delaware.

Marriage can be considered void in case if

  • One of the spouses already has a legal marriage, which was registered earlier than the current one and has not yet been terminated.
  • Incestuous . Spouses are close relatives to each other.
  • At least one of the spouses has not yet reached the age of majority, and at the time of marriage, there is no agreement from the parents or the court to register this marriage.
  • At the time of marriage, one of the spouses was mentally incapacitated and could not give his consent to the marriage.
  • Marriage is fraudulent in order to force the second spouse to consent.
  • If one and the spouse is impotent, and the second spouse did not know about it at the time of the wedding ceremony.
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Custody of the child in Delaware

Custody of the child

According to state law, custody can be physical or legal. The first type implies that the guardian will deal with the child's day-to-day matters and bear responsibility for them, and the second type means that the guardian will make important decisions in the life of the child, but this does not mean that the child will live with him or her.

The decision on custody will be made by the court on the basis of what best suits the interests of the child. So the court will need to take into account many factors before the guardian is appointed, they can be attributed to:

  • The desire of the child to live with one of the parents;
  • The desire of parents to take responsibility when raising a child;
  • The age of the child, his or her physical indicators, as well as the level of health and physical performance of each parent;
  • A parenting plan provided by each parent;
  • Other factors that the court may find significant.

Rules for child support in Delaware

If the couple divorce, then after the marriage is terminated, both spouses are obliged to provide financial support to their underage children. The state of Delaware applies "Melson Model" to calculate the amount of support. This model is a modified formula of "Income Shares Model", which is used in many states. The peculiarity of the "Income Shares Model" is that the amount of child support is calculated on the basis of his or her needs as if the family were together, after that the amount is divided proportionally between the parents in accordance with their income level.

The Melson Model provides for additional adjustments, including allocation of a “self-support allowance” to each parent before determining how much of the parent’s income is available for child support, and a “standard of living adjustment” (SOLA) after calculation of a child’s primary needs, to bring support amounts more closely in line with the economic status of the child’s parents.Thus, in order to get a fair amount to support the child, it is very important to indicate the true sources of income for each parent. This should be reflected in the Delaware divorce papers, so that the court has a complete picture of the financial capabilities of the parents. Financial support for the child continues until he or she reaches the age of 19.

Uncontested Delaware divorce with children
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Rules for spousal support in Delaware

Rules for spousal support

Alimony is a kind of financial support directed from one spouse to another spouse after a divorce. Alimony can be long-term, usually applied for marriages that lasted no less than 20 years and alimony with a certain payout period. For example, if the marriage lasted 10 years, then the duration of the payment will be exactly half of it, that is, 5 years.

Financial support is considered by the court primarily as one of the ways of rehabilitation, for example, as the amount needed to the spouse so that he or she can return to the usual rhythm of life or so that he or she can acquire the necessary skills or education to obtain a stable income.

Property division in Delaware

Property division

With a divorce in the state of Delaware, one of the most important issues to be resolved by the court is the division of common property. The common property means everything that was acquired by the couple during the marriage, including debt obligations. According to the laws of Delaware, the state operates based on the rule of the equitable division, which implies that all the property of the spouses must be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. The parties may agree on how they are going to share the property and write up a settlement agreement. It may speed up the divorce process. However, if the common property is in dispute, then the court determines how it must be divided after analyzing a number of factors, which include:

  • Duration of marriage and age of each spouse;
  • The value of all total assets and debts;
  • The value of the total movable and immovable property;
  • Professional skills and employment opportunities for each spouse;
  • The presence of previous marriages;
  • Contributions made by each spouse for the acquisition of a property;
  • The contribution that each spouse made in maintaining a home;
  • Any other factors that the court considers material;

Please note that if any property in the marriage passed to the spouse by giving or inheriting, then it is considered separate and the court will not consider it, since the individual property is not subject to separation. Also, to the separate property can be attributed all that was acquired before marriage.

Divorce without a lawyer in Delaware

Cases, when a divorce is made without the participation of a lawyer, are called Pro Se Divorce, it is a Latin expression that translates as "on her or his own". A divorce without the participation of a lawyer is completely legal and is subject to execution in any state. If the spouses have come to the agreement of a division of property and custody of children, then it may be rather convenient to initiate the Pro Se Divorce.

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Contested Divorce
Average prices start at $2000
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney fees resulting in unpredictable expenditures. Overall lenghty and expensive way to go.
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Other Online Divorce Services
Average prices start at $300
Other websites for filling out divorce documents use flawed software technologies to complete your divorce documentation.
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Mediation support in Delaware

If there are any minor children involved in the Delaware divorce case, the court may order the parents to attend the mediation sessions. 

Divorce forms in Delaware

The most common divorce form documents are "Petition for Divorce", the "Information Sheet" and the "Request for Notice". Depending on the circumstances of the divorce and the county in which the claim is filed divorce forms may vary, so there are many different Delaware divorce papers.

Online Divorce offers a help with selecting and preparation of appropriate forms in accordance with each case specificity.

Uncontested divorce in Delaware

Uncontested divorce in Delaware

In Delaware, as well as in many states, there is a simplified form of divorce or as it is also called: uncontested divorce in Delaware. This type of divorce is much cheaper and faster because it assumes that the spouses have come to a common decision on all issues that are related to divorce and made a settlement agreement in order to avoid the trial. When registering an uncontested divorce in Delaware State, the parties must agree on all disputable issues, including custody, alimony, property division, the amount of financial support for underage children, and so on. If they fail to come to an agreement on even one issue, then the divorce will be considered as contested and it may be needed the series of trials so that the court can make a decision regarding the controversies.

How to serve divorce papers in Delaware

With a divorce in Delaware, state law obliges the plaintiff to serve his or her spouse, in other words, the plaintiff simply must provide his or her spouse with copies of the  Delaware divorce papers, which he or she has already registered with the court. Unlike most states, the process of serving in the state of Delaware is very simplistic. Thus, after filing a lawsuit in court, the plaintiff is obliged to give the court a written request (where it is also necessary to indicate the address of residence and your spouse's phone number) so that the court notifies the spouse about the beginning of the divorce process.

If the Defendant cannot be located then the court may publish the notice about the beginning of the divorce proceedings in the newspaper, which will be sufficient evidence that the spouse is notified.

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Filing fees for divorce in Delaware

Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.