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Online Divorce in Delaware

To divorce in Delaware, residents of this state should follow several significant steps, including preparing divorce papers. Considering that it is one of the trickiest parts of any divorce action, the couple might need the help offered by DivorceOnline.

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Uncontested Divorce in Delaware

There are generally two types of divorce approved in the state: contested and uncontested.

  • If one of the partners challenges the information the other spouse puts in the petition, like the grounds for the divorce, child support, and so on, the couple will have to go through a contested divorce. In this case, a judge will hold a trial, examine the evidence, and call witnesses. Due to a variety of issues that should be resolved in open court, a contested divorce case typically takes lots of time and money.
  • If spouses manage to reach a mutual agreement on divorce-related issues, such as child custody, spousal support, and property division, they can end their marriage through an uncontested divorce. By signing a marital settlement agreement, partners can save time and money through streamlined court procedures.

Get Your Divorce Forms Completed Online

With an uncontested divorce process, spouses can often use a DIY solution like an online divorce service. DivorceOnline is a top-notch online tool that can be used to get assistance in generating divorce paperwork for as little as $139.

All you have to do is complete a simple questionnaire and follow further instructions. Our system will guide you through each step of selecting and filling out up-to-date divorce papers. In just two business days, you will be able to download a full set of divorce forms along with written instructions on how to file.

Currently, to initiate divorce in Delaware, ex-to-be-soon spouses may be required to submit the following divorce documents:

  • Petition for Divorce/Annulment (Form 442)
  • Information Sheet (Form 240)
  • Vital Statistics Sheet (Form 441) or Vital Statistics Same-Sex Marriage (Form 441SS)
  • Original or certified copy of your marriage/civil union certificate
  • Request for Notice (Form 400)

Situational divorce papers include but are not limited to:

  • Affidavit of Children's Rights (Form 279)
  • Separation Agreement (N/A)
  • Stipulation to Incorporate Separation Agreement (Form 443)
  • Affidavit of Unknown Address (Form 241)
  • Affidavit of Non-Military Service (Form 405)
  • Waiver of Rights under the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (Form 420)

Steps for Filing a Divorce in Delaware

In Delaware, each divorce case is based on several steps that should be taken into account by all people seeking a divorce in this state.

In order to file for divorce, each couple must fulfill the residency requirements. At least one of the spouses must have been a legal resident of the state for a minimum of six months before filing for an annulment or divorce.

The divorce forms may be filed in the county where either spouse resides.

Presently, Delaware belongs to the list of no-fault states. In other words, there is no need to prove that the other spouse's bad behavior led to marriage failure. The only ground (reason) that divorcing partners can use to file for a divorce is that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," which basically means that there is no chance of potential reconciliation.

The couple can demonstrate that their marriage is irretrievably broken by mentioning one of the following factors:

  • voluntary separation (spouses have been living separate and apart for a minimum of six months);
  • separation caused by the spouse's misconduct;
  • separation caused by the spouse's mental health issue; or
  • separation caused by incompatibility, which means that you can't get along, but it's not either person's fault.

The filing process begins by generating and submitting certain Delaware divorce papers to the Family Court.

Divorce papers in Delaware

Each divorce case is unique, so required divorce papers may differ among couples. The list of necessary divorce documents is mainly based on personal circumstances and the county where the divorce petition is filed. However, despite the type of selected divorce, all residents of Delaware have to submit legal forms, such as:

  • Petition for Divorce/Annulment (Form 442)
  • Information Sheet (Form 240)
  • Vital Statistics Sheet (Form 441) or Vital Statistics Same-Sex Marriage (Form 441SS)
  • Original or certified copy of your marriage/civil union certificate
  • Request for Notice (Form 400)

Filing fees

When filing divorce forms, each couple should also pay filing fees when filing divorce forms, which vary by county. The average legal fees are about $150, but to determine the exact amount, the filing spouse can call the courthouse. Once this payment is made, the court can start processing divorce paperwork. Refusal to pay court fees without a reasonable cause can lead to dismissal.

Waiting period

There is no mandatory waiting period in Delaware, but spouses should be separated for at least six months before they can be legally divorced.

Unlike other states, Delaware makes serving papers much easier. In fact, when filing completed divorce forms with the clerk, the couple can submit a "Request for Notice." The court, in turn, will serve documents to the defendant using the information the filing spouse provided.

According to Delaware law, people applying for an uncontested divorce can choose whether or not to attend a court hearing to finalize the process. If the couple does not want to attend a final hearing, Delaware Family Court will make its decision on granting the divorce "on the papers." If soon-to-be-ex spouses wish to be present during the final session, they can opt for a hearing. If all the requirements are fulfilled, the court will issue a divorce decree that includes comprehensive information regarding all terms of marriage termination.

Getting a Divorce With Children

In Delaware, people applying for a divorce with minor children should resolve child-related issues, such as child custody and child support. If they fail to agree on these terms, a judge will decide legal custody and residential placement at trial.

In general, both parents have equal rights over their children and can be considered joint natural custodians. At the same time, Delaware accepts both physical and legal custody and joint and sole custody.

Physical custody can be defined as a parent's right to reside with the child over 50 percent of the time. When it comes to legal custody, it gives a parent the right to make long-term decisions about the main areas of a child's life, including education, medical treatment, and social life.

When determining child custody, the court always acts in the best interests of the child, considering the following factors:

  • the child's age
  • the child's personal preferences
  • the child's relationships with other family members
  • the child's adjustment to home, school, and community
  • each parent's physical and mental health
  • each parent's income and financial stability
  • the history of abuse and physical violence in the family

In cases where a child's well-being or safety is at issue, the Family Court can award sole custody to one parent. However, despite the type of custody awarded, each parent has the opportunity to contact their child by mail and phone. Besides, each parent is allowed to receive all requested information about the child's progress in school, medical treatment, school activities, and religious events.

Delaware follows the "Melson Formula" financial model when calculating child support. Under this principle, courts estimate the amount of money parents typically spend on their children and then divide this amount between the parents based on their incomes.

The primary principles of this formula are as follows:

  1. Both parents have the opportunity to keep sufficient income to meet their basic needs.
  2. Parents are not allowed to retain any more income than that required to provide the bare necessities for their own self-support.
  3. When income is sufficient to cover the parents' basic needs and those of the dependent, the child has the opportunity to share in any additional income.

Filing for Divorce in Delaware Without a Lawyer

Couples going through an uncontested divorce process can terminate their marriage with little or no help from an attorney. For example, to save money and time on attorney's services, spouses can use Delaware divorce online services.

At the same time, people that fail to sign a marital settlement agreement can use the divorce mediation option. Well-qualified mediators help couples reach an amicable resolution concerning their disputes. The main benefit of this option is that mediation allows spouses to maintain power and control in their divorce process instead of asking a judge to decide.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Delaware

A DIY divorce is a completely legit way to end the marriage in the state. For instance, one of the most popular forms of DIY divorce is an online divorce in Delaware. This procedure refers to the preparation of uncontested divorce forms over the Internet without legal advice.

The main benefits of this option are:

  • There is no need to attend multiple necessary meetings with attorneys and take any time off of work.
  • There is no need to wait 1-2 weeks for completed divorce papers from attorneys. Everything can be completed within several business days.
  • There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on attorney's fees, as Internet divorce platforms can assist in preparing Delaware divorce papers online for as little as $139-400.


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Frequently Asked Questions:

Once divorce papers are filed with a local court, it usually takes 30-90 days to finalize the divorce. The thing is, the start to finish time of the marriage dissolution depends on various factors, such as spouses' ability to communicate efficiently and the court's caseload. In contrast, contested divorce cases can last over a year.

In addition to a filing fee (around $150), residents of Delaware most often spend money on attorney's services or services provided by online companies. Using an attorney's legal help, divorcing couples spend an additional $300-400 per hour. In terms of online divorce services, the preparation of Delaware divorce papers costs around $139.

To get a free divorce, spouses should go through a DIY divorce and prove that paying filing fees is a considerable financial hardship for them. It can be done by filling out an "Affidavit in Support of Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis." The judge will review this document and waive the mandatory court payment if appropriate evidence is provided.

Required divorce documents differ from case to case, although the basic list of papers necessary for all couples includes:

  • Petition for Divorce/Annulment (Form 442)
  • Information Sheet (Form 240)
  • Vital Statistics Sheet (Form 441) or Vital Statistics Same-Sex Marriage (Form 441SS)
  • Original or certified copy of your marriage/civil union certificate
  • Request for Notice (Form 400)