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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Chapter 15. DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT

back to top§ 1505. Divorce; marriage irretrievably broken and reconciliation improbable; defenses; efforts at reconciliation

(a) The Court shall enter a decree of divorce whenever it finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that reconciliation is improbable.

(b) A marriage is irretrievably broken where it is characterized by:

(1) Voluntary separation; or

(2) Separation caused by respondent's misconduct; or

(3) Separation caused by respondent's mental illness; or

(4) Separation caused by incompatibility.

(c) Previously existing defenses to divorce of condonation, connivance, recrimination, insanity and lapse of time are preserved but only with respect to marriages characterized under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(d) The only defense to a divorce action shall be the failure to establish either:

(1) The marriage of the parties; or

(2) Jurisdictional requirements of § 1504 of this title; or

(3) That the marriage is irretrievably broken; or

(4) A defense permitted under subsection (c) of this section because of the characterization of the marriage under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(e) Bona fide efforts to achieve reconciliation prior to divorce, even those that include, temporarily, sleeping in the same bedroom and resumption of sexual relations, shall not interrupt any period of living separate and apart, provided that the parties have not occupied the same bedroom or had sexual relations with each other within the 30-day period immediately preceding the day the Court hears the petition for divorce.
24 Laws 1907, ch. 221, § 3; 25 Laws 1909, ch. 213, § 2; 35 Laws 1927, ch. 188, § 1; 41 Laws 1937, ch. 186, § 1; 43 Laws 1941, ch. 206, § 1; 49 Laws 1953, ch. 57, § 1; 51 Laws 1957, ch. 27; 56 Laws 1968, ch. 296, §§ 1-3; 59 Laws 1974, ch. 350, § 1; 60 Laws 1976, ch. 333, §§ 3, 4; 61 Laws 1978, ch. 365, §§ 3-5.