HOUSE BILL NO. 477
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 15, TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO AN AWARD OF ALIMONY IN DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT ACTIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section I. Amend 51502, Title 13, Delaware Code, by striking subsections (5) and (7) therefrom and substituting therefor a new subsection (5) reading as follows:
"(5) To award alimony under this Chapter to a dependent party but only during the continuance of such dependency;"
Section 2. Amend §1512, Title 13, Delaware Code, by striking such section in its entirety and substituting therefor the following:
"§1512. Alimony in divorce and annulment actions; waiver or release
(a) The court may grant alimony for a dependent party as follows:
(1)Temporary alimony for either party during the pendency of an action for divorce or annulment;
(2) Alimony for a respondent commencing after the entry of a decree dissolving an irretrievably broken marriage characterized by mental illness; or
(3) Alimony for a petitioner, or for a respondent who does not qualify for alimony under subdivision (2) above, commencing after the entry of a decree of divorce or annulment but not to continue for more than two years after marriage dissolution unless the parties were married for more than twenty years.
(b) A party is dependent if the party or someone on behalf of the party shall aver in an affidavit of dependency filed in the action and shall prove by a preponderance of the evidence that such party:
(I) Is dependent upon the other party for support and the other party is not contractually or otherwise obligated to provide that support after the entry of a decree of divorce or annulment;
(2) Lacks sufficient property including any award of marital property, to provide for the party's reasonable needs; and
(3) Is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
(e) The alimony order shall be in such amounts and for such time, except as limited in time under subsection (a) above, as the court shall deem just without regard to marital misconduct and after considering all relevant factors justified by the evidence, including:
(I) Financial resources of the party seeking alimony including marital property apportioned to him or her, and his or her ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with such party includes a sum for that party as custodian;
(2) Time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment;
(3) Standard of living established during the marriage;
(4) Duration of the marriage;
(5) Age, and the physical and emotional condition of the party seeking alimony;
(6) Ability of the other party to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the party seeking alimony; and
(7) Tax consequences.
(d) A party who has contractually waived or released his or her right to alimony shall have no remedy under this section."
Section 3. Amend §1518, Title 13, Delaware Code, by striking subdivision (h) in its entirety.
Section 4. This Act shall become effective thirty (30) days after the day on which 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, 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.
Approved July 13,1979.