Is Delaware a Community Property State?
One of the most distressing parts of losing a spouse to either death or divorce is figuring out which possessions belong to which person. Dividing up property can feel like ripping open wounds, especially if the loss or separation is recent. Books, couches, tables and more will remind you of the better times — and you may be tempted to leave it all behind.
You shouldn’t, of course. It’s not practical and you should understand what’s legally yours under marital property laws designed to protect both parties in Delaware.
Delaware is not a community property state. A judge will decide what is an equitable division of marital property in a divorce if you and your spouse cannot agree. There are specific factors the Court must consider that are set out by statute.
How Will Property Be Divided in a Common Law State?
In a community property state, things purchased by the couple during their marriage are considered equally theirs. That means a 50-50 split on those acquisitions.
In a common law state, the courts divide things in a different manner. They may take into account a number of different factors to decide who is entitled to what property and possessions, such as:
- Differences in age
- Health of each spouse
- Capacity for earned income
The courts will consider these things and then divide the property in a way that seems most fair based on this information. So, for instance, if one spouse is much older or has less capacity to earn income, that could influence the decision of the percentage division of marital property awarded to each spouse.
In the case of one spouse’s death, property questions may be addressed in the will. But in some cases, it may depend on the tenancy of the property, which may be tenancy by the entirety, joint tenancy with the right of survivorship or tenancy in common.
Consult a Marital Property Lawyer in Delaware for Answers to Your Questions
You may feel confused or uncertain about what will happen to your property in the event of a divorce or death. A marital property attorney from Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya can help. Contact our offices to schedule a consultation today.