Alimony Attorney in Dover, DE

Make Sure You Collect The Spousal Support You Are Entitled To

Divorce proceedings are one of the toughest and most emotionally ridden legal events an individual may experience. Numerous matters such as equitable distribution of assets, marital property, child support, and custody need resolving. Moreover, if both parties cannot amicably agree, then a court ruling will decide on alimony payments, also referred to as spousal support.

In Delaware, spousal support is designed to help bridge the gap between the economic positions of divorcing or separated spouses, providing financial assistance to the spouse who is in a disadvantaged position. Support can be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the unique circumstances of each case.

When deciding on support, courts will assess various factors. These include the duration of the marriage, the financial resources and earning capacities of each spouse involved, the standard of living which was set during the marriage, as well as the parties’ ages and health statuses. Additional considerations may be taken into account by the court as needed. It’s worth noting that support is not automatically granted and must be sought through proper legal channels.

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, your spousal support and alimony attorney will guide you through the process, advocating for your rights and ensuring your financial well-being during and after a separation or divorce. With a deep understanding of Delaware’s spousal support laws and a track record of successful outcomes, we are committed to helping you secure a fair and equitable resolution.

Factors Considered By Court For
Spousal Support In Delaware

Delaware law allows for flexibility by a court in determining spousal support, and each case is evaluated based on its unique circumstances. The court has discretion in considering the factors outlined in the law to arrive at a fair and equitable support arrangement.

The court will evaluate several factors to reach a fair and equitable decision. These are some key considerations the court will consider:

  1. Financial Resources and Earning Capacities:

    The court will assess the financial resources and earning capacities of each spouse. This includes examining their income, assets, education, job skills, and potential for future employment or career advancement.

  2. Standard of Living:

    Courts take into account the standard of living established during the marriage. This involves considering the lifestyle enjoyed by the couple and the financial resources required to maintain a similar standard of living post-divorce.

  3. Duration of the Marriage:

    The length of the marriage is an important factor in support determinations. Generally, longer marriages may warrant a higher likelihood of support being awarded.

  4. Age and Health of the Parties:

    The judge considers the age and physical/mental health of both spouses. If one spouse has health issues or limited earning capacity due to age, it may be a factor in awarding support.

  5. Contributions to the Marriage:

    The court evaluates the financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage. This includes contributions to the household, childcare, career sacrifices, or supporting the education or career advancement of the other spouse.

  6. Other Relevant Factors:

    The court may also consider any other factors deemed relevant to the particular case, such as the presence of dependent children, the impact of the divorce on each spouse’s financial stability, and any agreements reached between the parties through negotiation or mediation.

It is important to note that support decisions in Delaware are made on a case-by-case basis, and the court has discretion in weighing these factors to arrive at a fair and equitable outcome. The goal is to ensure that both spouses can reasonably maintain their standard of living after the divorce, considering their respective financial circumstances and needs.

It is the court that decides which of the many factors determine spousal maintenance payments. However, it is your lawyer who will make the argument to the court about what’s in your best interests.

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Contact Schmittinger & Rodriguez

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, we understand how difficult and stressful it can be to deal with a family law matter. It can be traumatic and emotionally charged.

Our team has decades of combined experience handling family law issues. We have a deep understanding of Delaware law and will provide dedicated legal representation throughout your case. Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing you with personalized attention and will fight hard to get you the best possible outcome for your case. If you or someone you love has a family law matter, contact Schmittinger & Rodriguez today and let us help you through this difficult time. We will work hard to get you the justice, security, and peace of mind that you deserve.

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Types Of Spousal Support

Delaware recognizes different types of spousal support, including:


In Delaware, temporary spousal support is a form of financial support that may be awarded to a spouse during the pendency of a divorce or separation case. The purpose of temporary support is to provide financial assistance to the dependent spouse while the legal process is ongoing and until a final support determination is made.

Temporary spousal support is typically awarded to ensure that the dependent spouse can maintain a reasonable standard of living and meet their basic needs during the divorce process. It helps to address any financial disparities or imbalances that may exist between the spouses, especially if one spouse has been financially dependent on the other during the marriage.


Rehabilitative support is typically awarded when one spouse requires financial assistance to undergo education, training, or other endeavors to acquire the skills and resources necessary for self-support. The purpose of rehabilitative support is to enable the dependent spouse to become financially independent and self-sufficient in the future.

Whereas temporary spousal support gets awarded during the divorce proceedings, rehabilitative support assists the dependent spouse to gain the expertise, knowledge, or employability to become self-sufficient. The support period is contingent on the plan’s duration required to complete the rehabilitation program.

The rehabilitative plan may involve pursuing higher education, vocational training, or career development opportunities. The court will consider factors such as the spouse’s educational background, job skills, employment prospects, and the feasibility of the proposed plan when determining the duration and amount of rehabilitative support.

Please keep in mind that rehabilitative support is meant to be a temporary means of assistance. Its purpose is to aid the spouse who is dependent in attaining financial independence and self-reliance within a specified timeframe. When the rehabilitative plan is accomplished successfully, the support may either be terminated or adjusted accordingly.


Unlike temporary or rehabilitative support, permanent support is intended to provide ongoing financial assistance to the dependent spouse for an indefinite period.

Permanent support is typically awarded in cases where the dependent spouse is unable to achieve self-support due to factors such as age, health, limited earning capacity, or other circumstances. It is designed to address the financial disparities or imbalances that may exist between spouses after the divorce.

“Permanent” does not necessarily mean support that lasts forever. In Delaware, permanent support is subject to modification or termination in certain circumstances, such as a change in financial circumstances or a substantial change in the needs of either spouse.

Reimbursement support:

Reimbursement support is a type of spousal support that may be awarded in certain situations. It is distinct from other forms of support, such as temporary, rehabilitative, or permanent support.

Reimbursement support is typically granted when one partner has made noteworthy financial contributions or sacrifices that have directly benefited the other during their marriage. This support seeks to compensate the contributing partner for their financial investments or losses they incurred on behalf of the other spouse.

The most common scenario where reimbursement support may be awarded is when one spouse supported the other’s education or professional training, increasing the supported spouse’s earning capacity or career advancement. The contributing spouse may seek reimbursement for their financial support during that time.

Calculating Spousal Support In Delaware

In Delaware, there is no specific formula or guideline for calculating spousal support. Instead, support is determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration various factors outlined in the Delaware Code, specifically Title 13, Chapter 15.

When determining the support to be provided in Delaware, the court takes various concurring factors into account, like the individual financial resources and earning capacities of each spouse, the lifestyle maintained during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the parties’ ages and health statuses, and any other relevant criteria.

The court will evaluate the income of each spouse, including wages, salaries, bonuses, investments, other sources of income, and future earning capacity. It will also assess the financial needs of the dependent spouse, taking into account living expenses, healthcare costs, educational expenses, and other reasonable requirements.

Additionally, the court may consider the ability of the dependent spouse to become self-supporting in the future through education, job training, or employment opportunities.

Support calculations in Delaware are discretionary and can vary from case to case. The court has the authority to weigh the factors and exercise its judgment in determining the amount and duration of support. The goal is to provide a fair and equitable arrangement that considers both parties’ financial circumstances and needs.

Given the complexity and subjectivity involved in support calculations, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can assess your specific situation, gather relevant information, and present persuasive arguments to help ensure a fair determination of spousal support in your case.

Spousal Support Modification and Termination

Spousal support orders may be subject to modification or termination if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as a change in the financial situation of either spouse or the completion of a rehabilitative plan. Either spouse may petition the court for a modification of the support order. This change must be substantial and ongoing, making the existing support order unreasonable or unfair.

Examples of circumstances that may warrant a modification of spousal support include:

  1. Loss of employment or a significant decrease in income.

  2. Disability or illness that affects the ability to work and earn income.

  3. Changes in the financial needs or expenses of either party.

  4. Remarriage or cohabitation of the supported spouse, which may impact their financial situation.

  5. Retirement of either party, resulting in a change in income or financial resources.

The burden of proof rests with the party seeking the modification. They must present evidence and convince the court that the change in circumstances justifies a modification of the spousal support order for more money or less.

Role Of The Spousal Support & Alimony Lawyer

A spousal support lawyer plays a crucial role in assisting clients involved in support matters. Their primary objective is to protect the rights and interests of their clients throughout the legal process. Here are some key responsibilities and functions of a spousal support lawyer:

  1. Legal Advice and Guidance:

    A spousal support lawyer provides legal advice and guidance to their clients regarding their rights, obligations, and options related to support. They help clients understand the relevant laws and regulations, as well as the potential outcomes and implications of different courses of action.

  2. Case Assessment:

    The lawyer assesses the specific circumstances of their client’s case, including the financial situation of both parties, the duration of the marriage, and other relevant factors. They evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the case to develop an effective legal strategy.

  3. Negotiation and Mediation:

    In many instances, spousal support matters can be resolved through negotiation or mediation outside of court. A spousal support lawyer represents their client during these negotiations, advocating for their interests and working towards a fair and favorable resolution.

  4. Legal Documentation:

    A spousal support lawyer prepares and reviews legal documentation, such as spousal support agreements, settlement offers, or court filings. They ensure that all necessary paperwork is accurate, complete, and compliant with the relevant legal requirements.

  5. Court Representation:

    If a spousal support case proceeds to court, the lawyer represents the client in all legal proceedings. They present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate for their client’s position to the judge. They also handle any necessary legal motions, attend hearings, and provide a strong legal defense.

  6. Case Strategy and Preparation:

    The lawyer develops a comprehensive case strategy tailored to the client’s specific circumstances and goals. They gather evidence, interview witnesses, and engage in thorough research to support their arguments and strengthen their client’s positions.

  7. Support and Advocacy:

    Throughout the process, a spousal support lawyer provides emotional support and advocacy for their clients. They understand that spousal support matters can be emotionally challenging, and they offer guidance and reassurance to help their clients navigate the legal process with confidence.

Overall, the role of a spousal support lawyer is to provide legal knowledge, strategic advice, and dedicated representation to ensure that your rights and interests are protected in spousal support cases. Our attorneys work diligently to achieve fair and favorable outcomes for clients while minimizing conflict and stress during the legal process.

Why Schmittinger & Rodriguez
Is Right For You

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, we understand how stressful it can be to deal with the legal issue of spousal support. It’s emotional and impacts you and your family’s life.

Our team has decades of combined experience handling spousal support issues. We have an in-depth understanding of Delaware law and will provide dedicated legal representation throughout your case.

A Schmittinger & Rodriguez spousal support attorney will be committed to providing you with personalized attention and will fight hard to get you the best possible outcome for your case. If you are having spousal support issues, contact Schmittinger & Rodriguez today for a consultation so that we can help you obtain justice and fair compensation for your losses. YOUR CASE. OUR PRIORITY.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is spousal support mandatory in Delaware?

Spousal support is not mandatory in Delaware. Instead, it is based on the court's discretion and the unique circumstances of each case. The court considers several factors to determine whether spousal support is appropriate and, if so, the amount and duration of the support.

How long does spousal support last in Delaware?

The duration of spousal support in Delaware varies depending on the specific circumstances of each case. It can be temporary, rehabilitative, or permanent, based on factors such as the length of the marriage and the recipient spouse's ability to become self-supporting.

What happens if my ex-spouse refuses to pay spousal support?

If a spouse fails to comply with a spousal support order, legal remedies are available. The recipient spouse can seek enforcement through the court, which may involve wage garnishment, contempt proceedings, or other enforcement measures.

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