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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Chapter 15. DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT

back to top§ 1513. Disposition of marital property; imposition of lien; insurance policies

(a) In a proceeding for divorce or annulment, the Court shall, upon request of either party, equitably divide, distribute and assign the marital property between the parties without regard to marital misconduct, in such proportions as the Court deems just after considering all relevant factors including:

(1) The length of the marriage;

(2) Any prior marriage of the party;

(3) The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties;

(4) Whether the property award is in lieu of or in addition to alimony;

(5) The opportunity of each for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;

(6) The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker, husband, or wife;

(7) The value of the property set apart to each party;

(8) The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the party with whom any children of the marriage will live;

(9) Whether the property was acquired by gift, except those gifts excluded by paragraph (b)(1) of this section;

(10) The debts of the parties; and

(11) Tax consequences.

(b) For purposes of this chapter only, “marital property” means all of the following:

(1) All property acquired by either party subsequent to the marriage, except any of the following:

a. Property acquired by an individual spouse by bequest, devise, or descent or by gift, except gifts between spouses, provided the gifted property is titled and maintained in the sole name of the donee spouse, or a gift tax return is filed reporting the transfer of the gifted property in the sole name of the donee spouse or a notarized document, executed before or contemporaneously with the transfer, is offered demonstrating the nature of the transfer.

b. Property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage.

c. Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties.

d. The increase in value of property acquired prior to the marriage.

(2) All jointly-titled real property acquired by the parties prior to their marriage, unless excluded by valid agreement of the parties. For purposes of this paragraph, “jointly-titled real property” includes joint tenancy, tenancy in common, and any other form of co-ownership.

(c) All property acquired by either party subsequent to the marriage is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the parties in some form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common or tenancy by the entirety. The presumption of marital property is overcome by a showing that the property was acquired by a method listed in paragraphs (b)(1)a. through d. of this section. Property transferred by gift from 1 spouse to the other during the marriage is marital property.

(d) The Court may also impose a lien or charge upon the marital property assigned to a party as security for the payment of alimony or other allowance or award for the other party.

(e) The Court may also direct the continued maintenance and beneficiary designations of existing policies insuring the life of either party. The Court's power under this subsection shall extend only to policies originally purchased during the marriage and owned by or within the effective control of either party.

(f) The Court may order a party to execute and deliver any deed, document or other paper necessary to effectuate an order entered under this chapter, and if the party so ordered fails to do what he or she has been ordered to do, the Court, in addition to any penalty or sanction it may decide to impose upon that party for such disobedience, may direct the Clerk of the Court to do what the party was ordered to do, and such performance by the Clerk shall be as effective as the performance of the party would have been.

24 Laws 1907, ch. 221, §§ 15, 16; 25 Laws 1909, ch. 213, § 4; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 540, § 1; 59 Laws 1974, ch. 350, § 1; 61 Laws 1978, ch. 365, §§ 12, 13; 66 Laws 1988, ch. 246, §§ 1-4; 69 Laws 1993, ch. 55, §§ 1-3; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 80 Laws 2016, ch. 237, § 1, eff. May 19, 2016.