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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Chapter 15. DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT

back to top§ 1507. Petition for divorce or annulment

(a) A petition for divorce or annulment of marriage shall be captioned:

IN THE FAMILY COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE

IN AND FOR ... COUNTY

In re the Marriage of

...............................................................,

Petitioner,

AND


No............, 20...
...............................................................,

Respondent.


<PETITION FOR DIVORCE (OR ANNULMENT)>

(b) The petition shall be verified by petitioner and shall set forth:

(1) The age, occupation and residence (including county in Delaware) of each party and length of residence in the State, showing compliance with the jurisdictional requirements of subsection (a) of § 1504 of this title;

(2) Address where it is most likely that mail will be received by respondent, or that no such address can be ascertained with reasonable diligence;

(3) Under proper circumstances, that it is unlikely that jurisdiction can be acquired over respondent other than by mailing or publication of notice as provided in § 1508 of this title;

(4) If respondent is a foreign national or has resided in a foreign country within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition, the address of a representative (preferably the nearest) of such foreign country in the United States;

(5) The date of the marriage and the place at which it was registered;

(6) The date on which the parties separated;

(7) The names, ages and addresses of all living children of the marriage and whether the wife is pregnant;

(8) Whether there have been any prior matrimonial proceedings between the parties and, if so, the date, name and place of the court, and the disposition of the same;

(9) An allegation that the marriage is irretrievably broken and how it is characterized; or if the petition is for annulment, averment of the applicable circumstances specified in subsection (a) of § 1506 of this title and that the petition has been filed within the applicable time limit recited in subsection (b) of § 1506 of this title;

(10) Any other relevant facts;

(11) Relief prayed for.

(c) The petition shall be filed either in the county wherein petitioner resides or the county wherein respondent resides.

(d) The petition shall be filed with the Clerk of the Court, along with such deposit to cover costs as the Court may fix, and a praecipe instructing the Clerk how service is to be made or jurisdiction otherwise sought or acquired over respondent.

(e) A petition for divorce may be filed at any time following the separation of the parties if the requirements of § 1504(a) of this title have been satisfied although no ruling shall be made to determine whether to grant a divorce until after the parties have been separated for 6 months; provided, however, that relief under § 1509 of this title shall be available to the parties during the interim.

(f) The relief prayed for under paragraph (b)(11) of this section may include, where appropriate under the facts and law, in addition to a prayer for a decree of divorce or annulment, prayers for other relief that may be available under this chapter, including, without limitation, prayers for interim relief (§ 1509 of this title), alimony (§ 1512 of this title), property disposition (§ 1513 of this title), resumption of prior name (§ 1514 of this title), and costs and attorneys' fees (§ 1515 of this title).

(g) In any case where there are living children of the marriage, the petitioner shall submit with the petition an affidavit signed by the petitioner showing that the petitioner has read or has been advised of the following children's rights, which shall be set forth in full in said affidavit:

(1) The right to a continuing relationship with both parents.

(2) The right to be treated as an important human being, with unique feelings, ideas and desires.

(3) The right to continuing care and guidance from both parents.

(4) The right to know and appreciate what is good in each parent without 1 parent degrading the other.

(5) The right to express love, affection and respect for each parent without having to stifle that love because of fear of disapproval by the other parent.

(6) The right to know that the parents' decision to divorce was not the responsibility of the child.

(7) The right not to be a source of argument between the parents.

(8) The right to honest answers to questions about the changing family relationships.

(9) The right to be able to experience regular and consistent contact with both parents and the right to know the reason for any cancellation of time or change of plans.

(10) The right to have a relaxed, secure relationship with both parents without being placed in a position to manipulate one parent against the other.

(h) In any case where there are living children of the marriage up to the age of 17, the Court shall order that the parties pay for and participate in a “Parenting Education Course” unless the Court, upon motion, determines that participation in the course is deemed not necessary. The “Parenting Education Course” shall be a course which is certified by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families to meet the goal of educating divorce litigants on the impact on children of the restructuring of families. The course, in order to be certified by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, shall consist of at least 4 hours of instruction and at a minimum provide instruction regarding the following items:

(1) Information on the developmental stages of children;

(2) Adjustment of children to parental separation;

(3) Dispute resolution and conflict management;

(4) Guidelines for visitation;

(5) Stress reduction in children; and

(6) Cooperative parenting.

A litigant who has a demonstrable history of domestic violence shall be ordered to participate in a separate and more intensive course which shall include, at a minimum, the topics required in paragraphs (h)(1) through (6) of this section and education regarding domestic violence, its prevention and its effect upon children.

Parties do not have to attend the same course.
58 Laws 1972, ch. 349, § 2; 59 Laws 1974, ch. 350, § 1; 60 Laws 1975, ch. 297, §§ 4, 5; 61 Laws 1978, ch. 365, § 7; 67 Laws 1989, ch. 123, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 531, § 1, eff. July 18, 1996; 76 Laws 2007, ch. 96, § 1, eff. July 5, 2007.