CHAPTER 333

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 618

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 15, TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend §1503, Chapter 15, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding a definition of "actually resided"; and striking the definition of "separation" and substituting therefor new definitions of those terms:

" 'Actually resided" means was domiciled.

" 'Separation' means living separate and apart without any cohabitation for six or more months immediately preceding the commencement of the action, except that no period of separation is required with respect to a marriage characterized under §1505 (b) (2); but separation may commence and/or continue while the parties reside under the same roof provided severance of the marriage relation is complete."

Section 2. Amend §1504 (a), Chapter 15, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking "3 or more months" therefrom and substituting therefor "6 or more months".

Section 3. Amend §1505, Chapter 15, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (c) thereof and substituting therefor the following:

"(c) Previously existing defenses to divorce of condonation, connivance, recrimination, insanity and lapse of time are preserved but only with respect ,o marriages characterized under §1505 (b) (2)."

Section 4. Amend §1505, Chapter 15, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (d) thereof and substituting therefor the following:

"(d) The only defense to a divorce action shall be the failure to establish: either (1) the marriage of the parties, or (2) jurisdictional requirements of §1504, or (3) that the marriage is irretrievably broken or (4) defense permitted under §1505 (c) because of the characterization of the marriage under §1505 (b) (2)."

Section 5. Amend §1516, Chapter 15, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (b) thereof and substituting therefor the following:

"(b) It must appear that the parties continued to be separated between the date of the commencement of the action and the date of the hearing."

Section 6. This Act shall become effective on the day after it is enacted into law. Actions commenced prior to the effective date of this Act shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 15, Title 13 of the Delaware Code operative prior to such effective date and those provisions shall remain in effect as to those actions as if this Act were not in effect.

Section 7. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect any right, duty or liability arising under any statutes in effect immediately prior to the effective date of this Act, but the same shall be continued and concluded under such prior statutes. Nothing in this Act shall revive or reinstate any right or liability previously barred by statute.

Approved March 29, 1976