Divorce Law

When is Spousal Support or Alimony Awarded in Delaware?

Alimony may be awarded to one spouse in a Delaware divorce proceeding if that spouse is found to be a dependent spouse and has not waived his or her right to alimony in a premarital, or post marital, agreement. A dependent spouse is defined as one who is dependent on his or her spouse for support, lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs, or is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment which may because a child’s condition requires that parent to remain at home. Alimony may be awarded in any amount deemed just by the Court. A Court may consider: the financial resources of the spouse seeking alimony; the spouse’s ability to meet his or her reasonable needs independently; the standard of living established during marriage; duration of the marriage; the age, physical and emotional conditions of both parties; financial contributions made to the education, training or other earning capacity related task of a party; the ability of the payer to meet his or her needs while paying alimony; tax consequences of an alimony award; whether either party has foregone financial or educational opportunities during the course of the marriage and; any other factors that the court deems just. (Delaware Statutes Title 13, Chapter 15, Section 1512). 
If a couple is married fewer than 20 years then alimony may only be awarded for a term up to 50% of the time the couple was married. There is no limit on the numbers of years over which alimony can be paid if the marriage lasted 20 years or longer. The right to receive alimony is abolished upon the death of either party or the cohabitation or remarriage of the party receiving alimony. (Delaware Statutes Title 13, Chapter 15, Section 1512)
A person receiving alimony must make a continuous good faith attempt to find employment unless it would be inequitable to require employment because of the needs of a minor child or the health of the party. (Delaware Statutes Title 13, Chapter 15, Section 1512)
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