What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Delaware?

Property and savings that can go to a spouse during a divorce

Contrary to popular misconceptions surrounding gender biases in family law cases, today’s legal system treats husbands and wives equally when determining their rights in a divorce. Regardless of gender or any other factors, spouses are entitled to fair divorce outcomes. Delaware courts guarantee equitable distribution of marital assets, can grant alimony to either spouse based on multiple factors, and prioritize the best interests of all parties involved.

The divorce entitlements must be fair but not necessarily equal. When a couple cannot reach a mutual agreement on property and debt division or any other divorce terms, a court will intervene in the process. In such a case, seeking legal guidance is crucial to protect one’s rights and navigate the divorce efficiently.

What Property Rights Do Wives Have in a Divorce?

Woman holding an image of a house that will be divided in a divorce
In divorce proceedings in Delaware, equitable division of marital property is typically undertaken, guided by factors such as needs of each spouse.

Wives have the same property rights as their spouses. Based on Delaware divorce laws, all property acquired during the marriage will generally be divided fairly between parties. Wives are entitled to an equitable share of property unless specific circumstances dictate otherwise. For example, there may be prenuptial agreements concerning asset division, which may justify some specific distribution principle.

Marital property typically includes any assets or debts accumulated from the date of marriage until either party files for divorce. It encompasses not only physical possessions such as real estate, vehicles, and furniture but also financial accounts, bank savings, investments, etc.

Non-marital or separate property, such as the one owned before the marriage or received in the form of gifts or inheritance by either spouse, usually remains with its original owner after a divorce.

How Are the Properties Divided?

The properties are divided according to the equitable distribution principle. The judges decide on what any spouse is entitled to in divorce based on the following factors, to name a few:

1) Duration of the Marriage: During a long marriage, couples usually accumulate more joint assets, including real estate, investments, retirement accounts, etc. Besides, it is possible that in the course of marriage, one party increased the value of separate assets owned by the other spouse, and such property can now be subject to distribution in a divorce.

2) Contribution to Marriage: Contributions made by both parties, including financial support and homemaking efforts, are also taken into account. Such an approach helps recognize the value of each partner’s role in a marriage beyond monetary contributions.

3) Individual Earning Capacities: The earning potential of each spouse is considered while determining property distribution. Usually, the courts aim to provide some level of economic stability for spouses who were financially dependent on their partners throughout the marriage.

4) Child Custody and Support Obligations: The involvement of children in the case may affect the division of property. For example, the spouse who has physical custody of children may potentially get the family home so that kids do not need to relocate and change school.


Is It Necessary to Split Assets 50/50?

The assets don’t need to be divided 50/50 in the state. While a 50/50 split may seem like a way to avoid conflicts or unfairness when distributing property during a divorce, it may not always be practical.

According to Delaware law, particularly Title 13, Section 1513(b), before arriving at a decision on what distribution is equitable, the judge will consider:

  1. Length and nature of the union.
  2. Age, health condition, occupational skills, and employability capacities of spouses.
  3. Sources of revenue of each party besides work earnings.
  4. Their liabilities and all significant financial obligations, etc.

Are Wives Entitled to Spousal Support in Delaware Divorces?

Man transfers financial support to ex-wife after divorce
Spousal support requirements in Delaware depend on factors such as the financial circumstances of the parties involved.

Indeed, wives can be entitled to alimony in the state. It serves as a safeguard for individuals who made personal sacrifices in their careers or educational opportunities to uphold the unity of the family.

Spousal support depends on the unique circumstances of the divorce case and is decided based on the age and health of spouses, the amount of assets they get, their earning ability, contribution made to a marriage, etc. In Delaware, alimony can be granted as temporary or long-term payments.

Is a Wife Entitled to the Husband’s Pension after the Divorce?

A wife can get a share of a husband’s pension after divorce. The longer the duration of the marriage, the more likely the wife is to have a claim on the husband’s pension.

The pension administrator often uses a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) issued by the court when determining how to distribute the benefits between the divorcing parties. It is crucial to obtain a QDRO to ensure that the pension division complies with Delaware law.

The court will take into account additional aspects, including the spouses’ age and health, their earning potential, and the level of living standards maintained throughout the marriage.