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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Chapter 15. DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT

back to top§ 1512. Alimony in divorce and annulment actions; award; limitations

(a) The Court may award interim alimony to a dependent party during the pendency of an action for divorce or annulment.

(b) A party may be awarded alimony only if he or she is a dependent party after consideration of all relevant factors contained in subsection (c) of this section in that he or she:

(1) Is dependent upon the other party for support and the other party is not contractually or otherwise obligated to provide that support after the entry of a decree of divorce or annulment;

(2) Lacks sufficient property, including any award of marital property made by the Court, to provide for his or her reasonable needs; and

(3) Is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that he or she not be required to seek employment.

(c) The alimony order shall be in such amount and for such time as the Court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, after consideration of all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

(1) The financial resources of the party seeking alimony, including the marital or separate property apportioned to him or her, and his or her ability to meet all or part of his or her reasonable needs independently;

(2) The time necessary and expense required to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment;

(3) The standard of living established during the marriage;

(4) The duration of the marriage;

(5) The age, physical and emotional condition of both parties;

(6) Any financial or other contribution made by either party to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning capacity of the other party;

(7) The ability of the other party to meet his or her needs while paying alimony;

(8) Tax consequences;

(9) Whether either party has foregone or postponed economic, education or other employment opportunities during the course of the marriage; and

(10) Any other factor which the Court expressly finds is just and appropriate to consider.

(d) A person shall be eligible for alimony for a period not to exceed 50% of the term of the marriage with the exception that if a party is married for 20 years or longer, there shall be no time limit as to his or her eligibility; however, the factors contained in subsection (c) of this section shall apply and shall be considered by the Court.

(e) Any person awarded alimony has a continuing affirmative obligation to make good faith efforts to seek appropriate vocational training, if necessary, and employment unless the Court specifically finds, after a hearing, that it would be inequitable to require a person awarded alimony to do so:

(1) At any time, due to

a. A severe and incapacitating mental or physical illness or disability or

b. His or her age, or

(2) Immediately, after consideration of the needs of a minor child or children living with him or her.

(f) A party who has in writing before, during or after the marriage waived or released his or her right to alimony shall have no remedy under this section.

(g) Unless the parties agree otherwise in writing, the obligation to pay future alimony is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage or cohabitation of the party receiving alimony. As used in this section, “cohabitation” means regularly residing with an adult of the same or opposite sex, if the parties hold themselves out as a couple, and regardless of whether the relationship confers a financial benefit on the party receiving alimony. Proof of sexual relations is admissible but not required to prove cohabitation. A party receiving alimony shall promptly notify the other party of his or her remarriage or cohabitation.
57 Laws 1970, ch. 540, § 2; 59 Laws 1974, ch. 350, § 1; 61 Laws 1978, ch. 365, § 11; 62 Laws 1979, ch. 168, § 2; 66 Laws 1988, ch. 414, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995.