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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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back to top§ 1503. Definitions

For purposes of this chapter, unless the context indicates differently:

(1) “Actually resided” means was domiciled.

(2) “Commencement of the action” means the time of filing the petition.

(3) “Court” means Family Court of the State.

(4) “Incompatibility” means marital rift or discord that has destroyed the marriage relation, without regard to the fault of either party.

(5) “Mental illness” means mental incapacity or infirmity so destructive of the marriage relation that petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to continue in that relation.

(6) “Misconduct” means conduct so destructive of the marriage relation that petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to continue in that relation; and “misconduct” includes, as examples, adultery, bigamy, conviction of a crime the sentence for which might be incarceration for 1 or more years, repeated physical or oral abuse directed against petitioner or children living in the home, desertion, wilful refusal to perform marriage obligations, contracting venereal disease, habitual intemperance, habitual use of illegal drugs or other incapacitating substances and/or other serious offenses destructive of the marriage relation.

(7) “Separation” means living separate and apart for 6 or more months immediately preceding the ruling upon the petition for a decree of divorce, except that no period of separation is required with respect to a marriage characterized under § 1505(b)(2) of this title; and separation may commence and/or continue while the parties reside under the same roof, provided, during such period, the parties occupy separate bedrooms and do not have sexual relations with each other, except as § 1505(e) of this title may apply.

(8) “Voluntary separation” means separation by mutual consent or acquiescence; but if respondent denies that the separation was voluntary then mutual consent or acquiescence must be established either by written agreement of the parties or by proof of institution by respondent of separate judicial proceedings premised upon respondent's consent to or acquiescence in the separation.

59 Laws 1974, ch. 350, § 1; 60 Laws 1975, ch. 297, §§ 1, 2; 60 Laws 1976, ch. 331, § 1; 60 Laws 1976, ch. 333, § 1; 61 Laws 1978, ch. 365, §§ 1, 2; 80 Laws 2016, ch. 288, § 1, eff. June 28, 2016.