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Alimony in Delaware

Alimony in Delaware


Punitive alimony in Delaware becomes less common as attitudes towards spousal support now support such arrangements being made for both genders and the consideration of more factors when determine if and how much support needs to be paid by the spouse that is financially supporting another spouse.  The emphasis has moved away from long term support and toward short term rehabilitation, particularly ensuring that the dependent spouse has opportunities to increase their potential income, secure child care, avoid public benefits and otherwise improve their situation to the point where they will no longer need alimony.



Factors considered for alimony in Delaware



Fault is no longer the larger contributor when deciding on an alimony arrangement in Delaware.  When a petition or motion for alimony is made, the court will consider



– The relative economic strength of both spouses



– Time and expense in securing education or training to become financially independent



– Length or marriage



– Heath of both spouses



– Contributions or expenses taken by one spouse on behalf of the other



– Tax implications



– Opportunities available for financial gain, employment or better economic position



It is important to note that one may not turn down chances to better their situation in favor of alimony.  Doing so will give the other spouse grounds to ask for the alimony to be terminated, as you have not made “good faith” attempts to better your situation.



What are the types of alimony in Delaware?



Rehabilitative alimony cover the costs of securing an education or job training with all relevant expenses to ensure become financially independent through better employment.  This is applicable when the spouse has had to forgo opportunities to be educated due to childcare and other martial obligations.  Rehabilitative alimony has an expiration date, in that the spouse is eventually expected to be able to deal with their economic situation rather than continuing to draw support from the former spouse.



Reimbursement is a less common form of alimony in Delaware that generally benefits the stronger of the two spouses, in terms of finances.  In this arrangement, one spouse pays the other spouse for substantial expenses occurred when supporting that spouse.  This is regardless of who files the divorce petition.  The most common example used is having one spouse support the other through professional training school, only to divorce a short time later.  The spouse will be compensated by the graduate for the investment into their schooling.



Under other circumstances, alimony will be terminated after remarriage or death.  These permanent alimony arrangements are increasingly uncommon.



Ways to pay alimony in Delaware



For some arrangements, such as reimbursement alimony, you may pay this off as a lump sum, either in full or in partial payment, as long as the spouse agrees to that arrangement.  All others will be assessed monthly, either through direct payment or wage garnishment, pursuant to provisions in the alimony order.  Liens against property will also be assessed if the obligation to pay alimony is avoided, as well as other civil penalties.