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Legal Information: Delaware

Statutes: Delaware

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Updated: 
April 8, 2020

§ 1042. Commencement of action; procedure

(a) A request for relief from domestic violence is initiated by the filing of a verified petition by the petitioner, or by the Division of Child Protective Services or the Division of Adult Protective Services, asking the court to issue a protective order against the respondent.

(b) The petitioner need not reveal an address, place of residence, school or employment or the address or place where the petitioner’s child or children receive child care or attend school, if it is alleged that disclosure of this information would endanger the petitioner. However, the Court may require the petitioner to reveal in confidence a current address or place of residence for the purpose of determining jurisdiction or venue.

(c) A petition for a protective order may be filed in any county where the petitioner resides, the respondent resides, the alleged domestic violence occurred, or where the petitioner is temporarily located away from the residence to avoid domestic violence.

(d) Forms and instructions for initiating a proceeding under this part shall be available from the Clerk of the Court. Assistance from court staff or court volunteers shall be available during business hours to assist the parties with all papers which may be filed in connection with a proceeding under this part. Any assistance or information provided by court staff or court volunteers under this part does not constitute the practice of law.

(e) All forms and instructions developed for use by the parties to a proceeding under this part shall contain simple, understandable language.

(f) The Court may examine a child outside the presence of the parties for the purpose of obtaining the child’s testimony and ascertaining the truth of a matter asserted by a party to the proceeding. The Court may permit counsel to be present at the examination, and to also examine the child. The Court may permit a party who is not present for the examination to submit questions of fact for the Court to use in ascertaining the testimony of the child. The Court shall cause a record of the examination to be made and it shall be made a part of the record in the case.