Delaware Divorce Lawyer

Have you and your spouse been unhappy in your marriage for quite some time? Are you ready to begin the process of filing for divorce so you can move on with your life? If so, contact a qualified Delaware divorce attorney who can represent you throughout this process.

Unfortunately, marriage sometimes just doesn’t work out. You can continue trying to force something that isn’t right for the both of you, or you can take the time to consider what your lives would be like without the stress of knowing you’re with the wrong person.

When you’ve decided that it’s time to move forward with a divorce, get in touch with a Delaware divorce lawyer at Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor. We can advocate for your best interests while we navigate the process of legally ending your marriage.

Annulment

When you get a marriage annulled, you are effectively erasing the marriage from existence, meaning you were never really married in the first place. Although there is no formal time limit for filing for an annulment, it’s a safe bet to go with the ninety-day rule. This refers to the number of days that have passed since the grounds for an annulment became known.

Although annulments are rare in Delaware, there are many instances when a marriage could be annulled under the right circumstances. Some of the better-known instances in which an annulment would be appropriate include if one or the both of you were intoxicated at the time of the marriage or you or your spouse were underage and legally unable to consent.

Legal Separation

Before you can become divorced in Delaware, you must be legally separated for a minimum of six months. You must be living apart and not engaging in sexual activity with your spouse for your situation to be considered a legal separation.

However, if you were filing for divorce on the grounds of misconduct, you are not required to wait six months. We must be prepared to prove misconduct on the part of your spouse for this to be approved. An example of misconduct could be adultery or abuse.

Divorce

After the six-month legal separation has passed, you can move forward with the divorce by filing a court petition in the county in which you reside. There are two different types of divorce in Delaware: contested and uncontested.

In a contested divorce, the person who is answering the petition you filed will be challenging the information in the divorce papers. If this happens, you can expect to attend a hearing, in which both sides will speak in front of a judge.

If your divorce is uncontested, it means that the answering party has either not responded to the papers within the twenty-day time period or he or she is agreeing to the terms of the divorce papers you sent. The court will then grant your request for the divorce.

Paying Alimony

Alimony, or spousal support, is meant to ensure that both sides in the divorce are treated with economic fairness. When the judge decides which spouse will pay alimony to which, he or she will set a specific dollar amount for a specified period of time, not to exceed half of the period of the marriage in cases where a marriage lasted less than twenty years.

This will give the party receiving alimony an opportunity to receive job training or time to find a position in which he or she will eventually be able to earn a livable income without help from his or her former spouse.

The Dividing of Shared Properties

One key point in a divorce is how the properties you’ve acquired together over the years will be divided. Delaware holds that the division must be equitable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean evenly distributed. For instance, a spouse receiving spousal support is not automatically entitled to half of the marital assets.

Property you entered the marriage with or purchased with the intent that it remain separate from your spouse is considered separate property and should go to the party it was intended to.

Once this property has been divided as separate or marital property, a monetary value will be placed on each item, and you and your spouse or the court can determine where each item will go.

The same will be done for your shared taxes and debts. Those that you and your spouse obtained together as marital assets, such as an auto loan or mortgage, will need to be divided among you. On the other hand, a credit card balance from before you were married will continue to be your responsibility.

The division of financial assets and debts in a divorce can leave one party feeling shortchanged. That’s why many people work with a divorce lawyer in Delaware.

Delaware Divorce FAQ

Deciding that it’s time to move forward with a divorce can put further strain on your life when you’re already dealing with the difficulties of a failed marriage. Because the world of family law can be so complex, we have answered some of the questions we are most frequently asked about the Delaware divorce process in the hope that we can ease some of your fears about proceeding with your petition.

How much will it cost to get a divorce?

Divorce is, unfortunately, an expensive process. First, the court will charge you a fee for each petition you file, whether that’s for the division of property or the divorce itself.

Then, you may need to go to court to fight a request for alimony, which could mean additional fees. Finally, you can expect to pay legal fees. At our firm, we’ll work with you to make sure your divorce puts as little financial strain on you as possible.

What if I don’t know where my spouse is?

If we are able to prove that we have made numerous attempts to locate your spouse and have been unable to do so, we can ask the court to publish the divorce notice in the newspaper, known as a divorce by publication. Your spouse will then have twenty days to reach out to the court to contest the divorce. If he or she doesn’t answer, you should be granted your request for a divorce.

Will I need to go to court for a divorce in Delaware?

It depends on what type of divorce you’re involved in. You can file a petition for divorce online and have the papers delivered to your spouse without having to go to court. You can work with your spouse to equitably divide assets and come to an agreement regarding child custody (if applicable). If your spouse wishes to contest the divorce at any point, you should be prepared to go to court.

Consult with a Delaware Divorce Attorney

Do you have specific questions that pertain to your divorce, or would you like to learn more about what you can expect if you’re prepared to file your petition for divorce? If so, get in touch with a knowledgeable attorney at Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor.

We can work with you and your soon-to-be former spouse to help divide assets, determine child custody and support, arrange spousal support, and handle any other details so you are well on your way to finalizing this difficult decision.

You can schedule a no-obligation case evaluation with a Delaware divorce lawyer if you contact us via phone at 302-734-8400 or simply fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page. We’ll be in touch to set up your initial appointment.