In Delaware, if you have a claim for alimony, the party seeking the alimony benefit must be defined as a “dependent spouse” under the meaning of statute 13 Del. C § 1502.
In the attached case, the husband made a substantially higher income than his ex-wife. They were only married for 17 months, and this was both parties’ second marriage.
The wife’s first marriage was to a prince in a country in Africa. The husband’s first marriage lasted 40 years. The wife’s testimony was vague, very general and unspecific about how she supports herself.
The Delaware alimony statute clearly requires persons seeking alimony to make strong efforts to become self-supporting. In this case, the court found that the wife did not make any effort to become self-supporting, other than minor business dealings.
The court held that “considering the very short duration of this marriage, the wife’s total failure to seek gainful employment, and her failure to provide details concerning her overall economic circumstances; she is not a qualified alimony recipient as envisioned by the Delaware Legislature in the enactment of the Delaware Divorce Act. In addition, the Court is convinced the wife is more than capable of supporting herself. While the wife should be entitled to alimony under the alimony laws of many states, she is not eligible under Delaware Law. “
This case is currently on appeal in the Delaware Supreme Court. Click here to read the case.
Article provided by Tabatha Castro, The Castro Firm
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