Copyright © Gary R. Spritz, Esquire, Delaware Divorce and Family Law. All rights reserved.
This page is devoted to those persons who are separating as a couple whether they are married or not. As a preliminary matter, in Delaware there is no action specifically devoted to separation so what action you fit into depends on whether there was a state or country sanctioned marriage or civil union as Delaware does not recognize common law marriage or there is domestic violence. If your legal separation in Delaware is triggered by domestic violence, there is a separate, powerful Protection from Abuse Civil Action as well as criminal remedies. The first rule is safety first. You cannot replace yourself so if there is crime make a plan that provides you safety. Delaware and its police do not play and do jail people when appropriate. Delaware Family Court also has a self help unit for those who cannot afford lawyers. In Wilmington, this is at lower level 1, 500 N. King Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Of course you can call me at (302) 655-0900 for a confidential appointment.
Well let's say you and fortunate and your relationship though not violent, is still over, if you are married and have children divorce is not immediate. In Delaware, the separation period to entitle a party to a no fault divorce is six (6) months although couples may be considered as separated when they reside under the same roof, but occupy separate bedrooms and are not having sex. if you are not married, there stlll are questions and the need for legal advice when you or your spouse may need funds to live, have children together. When there are children, child support is involved you can if involved in a legal separation in Delaware go to an attorney with your income information and iinformation or an estimate as to income of the spouse or the other parent and find an estimate about what you can expect as to child support. It is also helpful for you to have a budget that includes what your expenses will likely be when you separate. If married there may be issues of alimony or spousal support and since this depend upon your budget even a very rough budget is helpful. A form is provided as to your expenses to organize your thoughts by clicking this word expense .
You may want to know whether or not you can simply move the children out of the state. For the most part the answer is this is not a good way to start a custody battle. I encourage you to review the custody section of this website by clicking here custody and you may want to review the Delaware Family Court Contact contact guidelines which are quite generous is allowing the children time with each parent. Rarely, is a parent not awarded visitation if they want it with a child and the allocation of time in Delaware can be so generous as to holidays, summer etc... and even school days, a custody or visitation agreement may be the best solution for your children as well as you. Now your situation is unique as your relationship with your children so I would schedule an appointment by calling at (302) 655-0900. However if you click the button below may help you as to seeing are visitation guidelines in Delaware. This is a starting place only.
You may want to know if you move, are you waiving the right to property. The answer is no, However the court may be influenced to allow the other party the right to buy you out of the house. Also, 401ks and pensions that are acquired during the marriage are marital property, You also need to understand that the court cannot only divide up property but can divide debts so getting a credit report on yourself may be helpful. For this I provide you the addresses of the following credit reporting agencies:
Lastly, before your Delaware Legal Separation or even if you are worried that one may occur call at (302) 655-0900 and schedule a low cost consultation.