If you have made a decision to end your marriage in Delaware, you should prepare for this process in advance. In fact, the length and complexity of the marriage dissolution process mainly depend on your knowledge of local regulations and laws, as well as the level of trust in your couple.
Thus, even though getting divorced in Delaware is similar to other states, there are some details you should consider before initiating this process. To best prepare for marriage termination in this state, keep reading this article.
Make Sure You Have a Valid Reason to Terminate the Marriage
The first thing you should know about the divorce process in Delaware is this state allows for a no-fault divorce. In other words, there is no need to accuse your spouse of doing something to cause the dissolution of marriage. Instead, it is enough to testify that you are going through an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with no chance of reconciliation with your spouse.
However, to ensure the judge that you won’t get back together, you will have to mention one of the reasons listed below in your petition:
- Voluntary separation
- Engagement of your spouse in marital misconduct
- Your spouse’s mental illness
Check if You Can Apply for Divorce
Currently, each state has specific requirements that residents should meet to initiate the dissolution of marriage. In Delaware, either you or your spouse should have lived in this state for at least six months before filing for divorce. Otherwise, a judge won’t be able to grant a divorce for your couple.
Decide on the Type of Divorce
Like most other states, Delaware offers the opportunity to apply for either contested or uncontested marriage termination. In turn, it is your responsibility to decide which type of divorce you will be going through.
To avoid high expenses and delays, it is better to file for an uncontested divorce. In this case, you and your spouse should agree on all the issues related to marriage termination and sign an appropriate settlement agreement. As a result, you’ll be able to represent yourself in the divorce without an attorney. In turn, if you don’t hire a divorce attorney during an uncontested divorce, you will only be required to pay the filing fee, which is around $150
Moreover, Delaware belongs to the list of states where people can decide whether they want to be present at a court hearing to finalize the process. Hence, if you and your spouse agree on all the issues and act in your children’s best interest, you won’t be required to attend proceedings. The only time you should go to court is to file documents. In this case, the whole divorce process will take no more than 30-90 days, depending on the court’s caseload.
In contrast, if you fail to find a compromise when it comes to the division of property, child custody, and spousal support, you’ll have to face a contested marriage dissolution. This type of divorce is way more expensive and time-consuming, as you’ll need to hire an attorney to protect your interests. Presently, divorce lawyers charge around $200-$250 per hour for their services in Delaware. Subsequently, the entire marriage termination process can cost around $5,000-10,000.
Talk to Your Spouse About Property Division and Child Custody
It is important to discuss these topics with your spouse before starting the divorce proceedings, as it can help you both determine your future and sign a settlement agreement. As a result, you’ll be able to minimize the money, time, and stress associated with the process of marriage termination. If you are unable to reach an agreement, the judge will make decisions in the context of your marriage dissolution as per their discretion.
For example, even though Delaware is an equitable distribution state, the division of marital property will be based on the following factors:
- the length of the marriage
- any previous marriages
- educational state of both spouses
- employment status of both spouses
- health condition of both spouses
From the perspective of child custody, the judge will be acting in the child’s best interests, taking into consideration a variety of factors, including:
- the opinion of both parents in terms of custody and residential placement
- the child’s wishes regarding the parent they want to keep living with
- the physical and mental health of all family members
- the criminal history of both spouses
- both parents’ level of income
Prepare Appropriate Divorce Forms
You can obtain all the divorce papers from the Delaware Court website to start the process of marriage dissolution. The main documents that you should fill out are:
- Petition for Divorce
- Information Sheet
- Marital Settlement Agreement
Even though the process of filling out divorce papers does not seem complicated, some people still fail to provide the court with the information needed to proceed with their cases. Therefore, there is a high demand for online divorce companies that can get your marriage termination documents prepared over the internet in a matter of 24-48 hours. Besides, these companies are extremely popular for:
You can get all your divorce papers completed online for no more than $300-500, whereas lawyers typically take this amount of money for 1-2 hours of their work. Moreover, although online divorce platforms can prepare appropriate documents within two business days, lawyers usually spend around one week doing it.
To get your divorce papers, you only need to complete a questionnaire related to your marriage. It can easily be done from any place, at any time of the day.
- Excellent customer support
In addition to divorce forms, you’ll also receive written instructions on how to file papers with a court.
In Delaware, marriage dissolution preparation can be considered one of the main steps to getting a divorce, so it is essential to understand local regulations and laws. By following the steps presented in this article, you’ll be able to make your split in this state as smooth as possible.