If you are seeking to petition for divorce or separation in Delaware or if you are responding to a divorce petition filed by a spouse, chances are you have a great deal on your mind. Attorneys David C. Gagne and Achille C. Scache and the dedicated staff of the family law department at Giordano, DelCollo, Werb & Gagne have the experience you are looking for during this time of uncertainty. From the start, we will answer all of your questions and let you know what you can expect during the process of legally ending your marriage or civil union in Delaware. Though it is our goal to avoid contentious family court battles, we are well prepared to fight for your interests at trial if that proves to be the only pathway to best achieve a fair outcome.
Divorce in Delaware
Before petitioning for divorce in Delaware, you should first determine the grounds for filing in the first place. Why are you seeking to end your marriage? The Court requires that petitioners state that the marriage is irretrievably broken due either to the incompatibility between partners (the spouses do not and cannot get along anymore) or via misconduct on the part of one of the spouses. In this case the petitioner will cite the misconduct of his/her spouse as physical abuse, mental abuse, abandonment and/or infidelity. The petitioner will also be required to give the details of that misconduct. Many suggest that if you and your spouse do not fall into the descriptions previously stated for grounds for divorce, it may be wise to consider seeking counseling in order to save the marriage.
Once it has been determined that you are indeed proceeding with the divorce process, our team will work tirelessly to ensure that a fair resolution is sought from start to finish. Regardless of whether we have to negotiate, mediate or litigate for an optimal result in your best interests, we will do what is necessary in order to achieve a resolution which is fair to you once all is said and done.
Separation in Delaware
In the State of Delaware, Separation is defined as living separately for six or months before filing for divorce. There is no separate “legal separation” provision in our state. However, spouses wishing to live apart but not necessarily divorce can negotiate a Separation Agreement in Delaware. Generally, in this case, spouses are in agreement regarding the ending of the marriage. However, as this is a complex document and only effectively serves as a preliminary step in the divorce process, we strongly suggest you consult one of our expert divorce lawyers before attempting to file this paperwork on your own.
Distribution of Property
The distribution of property can be difficult once it has been determined that a marriage is coming to an end. If you and your spouse cannot amicably determine how the property is being split up, our team to negotiate, and if necessary, argue in Court for your interests as they relate to the distribution of assets. Delaware is an equitable distribution state. This means that the Family Court will decide a fair distribution of property acquired during the marriage. Factors in the decision can range anywhere from duration of the marriage and debt to the age, health, employability and needs of each of the parties. In fact there are even more factors and equitable distribution often does not simply mean half or 50/50. In any case, you can rest assured that our lawyers and staff will fight hard to achieve the best possible outcome.
Child Custody and Support
Without question, two of the biggest points of contention during the divorce process are those that concern children. Child Custody and Child Support determinations are different in every case. In both instances, it is the job of the Court to make determinations in the best interests of the child or children. We make it our job to ensure that the Court has all of the pertinent information critical in making that determination if both parties cannot come to an amicable resolution in these areas beforehand.
Alimony & Spousal Support
In Delaware, either spouse may seek alimony. If an agreement cannot be forged between the parties, the Court may make a determination based upon a number of factors. Alimony is generally granted when, during the marriage, one spouse has become dependent upon the other, lacks his/her own property and/or is unable to support his or herself through employment. Consideration is also given to those spouses who are caring for a child whose condition requires a level of attention which makes gaining substantial employment improbable.
Experience You Can Rely On
Whether you are looking to file for divorce or are in a position in which you must respond to a spouse who has already filed, you have an important decision to make. It is critical that you choose the right attorney who will fight for the best interests of you and your family during this emotional and, at times, overwhelming process. To schedule an appointment to meet with David C. Gagne or Achille C. Scache, call or send us a message today.