Delaware Alimony and Spousal Support Laws

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Delaware divorce courts have discretion to allow alimony to either spouse if circumstances make it necessary. The court will consider all factors on a case-by-case basis. Once alimony is granted, modification can be sought should circumstances change and warrant review of the case.

Types of Spousal Support

  • Temporary – may be awarded during the time between filing dissolution papers and final disposition of the case.
  • Short-Term – may be awarded for a limited time, generally to allow the grantee time and resources to gain skills or employment.
  • Long-Term or Permanent – may be awarded, especially in cases of long-term marriage.

Who is Eligible for Alimony in Delaware

A court may order alimony for either spouse in Delaware only if that spouse is dependant upon the other for support, lacks property to provide for reasonable needs and is unable to be self-supporting through employment or has custody of a child whose circumstances make it necessary.

Delaware Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)

The following may be considered, in addition to others in the interests of justice, by the court in determining support awards:

  • Resources of the seeking party;
  • Standard of living as established during marriage;
  • Duration of marriage;
  • Age and condition of the parties;
  • Contribution toward the education or career of either party; and
  • Tax consequences.

Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Delaware

Alimony in Delaware can be modified only upon a showing of change of circumstances. Alimony automatically ends upon the death of either person or remarriage or cohabitation of the receiving party, unless the parties have a contrary written agreement.

Marital Fault in Delaware

Marital misconduct may not be considered by the court when it is deciding whether to grant or deny alimony.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Delaware?

Alimony must not exceed half of the term of the marriage under Delaware law, unless the marriage was long-term, lasting longer than 20 years.

Delaware Alimony Taxes

Alimony may be claimed as a federal income tax deduction by the paying spouse. The receiving spouse must also claim the mandated support payments as income on federal taxes. Discuss the tax implications of your settlement with an attorney.

Find an Alimony Attorney in Delaware

A Delaware attorney familiar with divorce and alimony can help you through the emotional and physical processes. Divorce can be overwhelming. An attorney will help you get through it so that you can move on with living.

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