Legal Information: Delaware

Divorce

Updated: 
October 26, 2018

What factors will a judge consider when deciding whether or not I get alimony?

When making a decision about if you will get alimony, how much alimony will be awarded, and for how long it will last, the judge will consider many factors including, but not limited to:

  • Your financial resources, including any marital property or separate property you will own at the end of the divorce and your ability to meet your needs on your own;
  • If you need any additional education or training to find a job, the court will consider the time and expense necessary for that education or training;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The age, physical, and emotional condition of both parties;
  • Any financial or other contribution (like housekeeping or child care) made by either party to the education, training, vocational skills, career, or earning capacity of the other party;
  • The ability of your spouse to meet his/her needs while paying you alimony;
  • The tax consequences of alimony payments;
  • Whether either party has put off or given up economic, education, or other employment opportunities during the course of the marriage; and
  • Any other factors the judge thinks it is fair and appropriate to consider.1

Note: Marital fault will not be considered (for example, if one of you had an affair).1

If you are awarded alimony, your spouse no longer has to pay it once one of the following happens (unless you both agree otherwise in writing and it is provided for in the divorce decree):

  • either of you die;
  • you remarry; or
  • you live with an intimate partner of either sex and you both hold yourselves out as a couple (known as cohabitation). It does not matter whether or not you get any financial benefit from the relationship and proof of sexual relations is not required to prove cohabitation.2

Note: If you waived (gave up) your right to alimony before, during, or after the marriage in the form of an agreement, such as a pre-nuptial agreement or a post-nuptial agreement, you cannot be awarded alimony.3

1 13 Del.C. § 1512(c)
2 13 Del.C. §§ 1519(b), 1512(g)
3 13 Del.C. § 1512(f)