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Delaware Family Law & Trial Practice Blog
Join Leslie and other Wilmington-based Fox Rothschild litigators as they navigate through Delaware’s Family Court, Superior Court and Court of Common Pleas, providing analysis on matters, identifying new cases and developments, detailing the implications of court decisions and offering step-by-step commentary of the trial process.
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Delaware Chancery Law Blog
The Delaware Court of Chancery is widely considered the preeminent forum for resolving disputes involving the internal affairs of the multitude of Delaware corporations and other business entities through which a vast amount of the world's commercial affairs is conducted. Join Leslie as she helps guide you through the complex landscape of legal issues and analysis arising before this Court.
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Recent Blog Posts

  • Supreme Court Addresses The Application Of A Rebuttable Presumption The Sex Offenders Act is found in Chapter 7A of Title 13 of the Delaware Code.  Section 724A of the Sex Offenders Act imposes a rebuttable presumption “that no sex offender shall be awarded sole or joint custody of any child, that no child shall primarily reside with a sex offender, and that no sex offender shall have unsupervised visitation with a child.”  In the case of Division of Family Services v. Mark O’Bryan, No. 175, 2016 (May 31, 2017) the... More
  • Pet Advocates – Lessons From Connecticut Prior blog posts have focused on child advocates who work to protect the best interests of children.  A Connecticut law, the first of its kind, expands that idea and provides animals with court-appointed advocates to represent them in abuse and cruelty cases.  According to an article published by AP, There are eight approved volunteer advocates across Connecticut — seven lawyers and a University of Connecticut law professor, working with her students. It’s up to a judge to decide whether to appoint one, but they can... More
  • Family Court Releases Electronic Order Request Forms Family Court has not yet moved to the electronic filing system used by other Delaware Courts.  However, effective today, June 1, 2017, attorneys and litigants in Family Court may request to receive orders issued in all their civil matters by encrypted email rather than U.S. mail.  To do so attorneys may complete and file Family Court Form 613 and litigants may complete Family Court Form 614.   ************ Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.  Leslie practices in Fox Rothschild’s Wilmington, Delaware... More
  • The Fight For Legal Services Corporation Describing the value of legal services, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan once said, As a society, we do not do nearly as well as we ought to in enabling low-income, and for that matter middle-income, Americans to get the legal assistance that they need to vindicate their legal rights. And all of those costs to the individual that come from not having a lawyer and not being able to access justice, all of those costs work their way back to ordinary taxpayers,... More
  • Don’t Forget To Celebrate – May Is National Foster Care Month By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation During the month of May, we observe National Foster Care Month and we celebrate those who have opened their homes and their hearts to children in need and those who have devoted their careers to serving America’s foster youth. Americans throughout the country are serving their communities as foster parents, mentors, respite care providers, and volunteers.  In the last year alone, America’s foster families opened their homes and hearts to more than... More
  • Support Persons In Family Court   The Delaware Constitution, Delaware Code and the court rules specify whether Family Court matters are open or closed to the public.  If a matter is closed, generally only the parties, their legal counsel, and their witnesses are allowed to be present.  The Court understands, however, that litigation can be stressful.  In some cases, the presence of a someone to provide moral and/or emotional support can be helpful to a litigant.  To that end, the Court recently created a process to assist litigants in requesting the attendance of a support person in closed proceedings.  Additional... More
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates Needed! Prior posts have addressed the important role of child advocates in Family Court.  CASAs, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are one example of the wonderful advocates who volunteer their time to represent Delaware’s children in Family Court. Across Delaware, over 200 volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) build close relationships with and serve as one-on-one advocates for children in foster care. The CASA program recruits and specially trains these volunteers from the community, who are then appointed as advocates by a Family Court Judge. The CASA... More
  • Public Persona And Custody   The Delaware Family Court decides custody and visitation actions based on the best interests of a child. To make that determination the Court must consider specific factors listed in Section 722 of Title 13. In addition, the Court may consider any other relevant information. What is relevant is a case-by-case analysis. For public figures like Alex Jones public statements or their public persona could be relevant. A recent post by Aaron Weems, a Partner in our Blue Bell, Pennsylvania office, examines the... More
  • Summer Is Coming – It’s Not Too Late To Plan for Summer Camp 123rf.com For many children the best part of summer is summer camp. Camps can provide the opportunity to learn everything from computer skills to surfing.  And, as the saying goes, summer camp is the place where strangers become friends and friendships last forever. For many divorced or separated parents, planning to send a child to summer camp requires additional consideration in order to coordinate schedules.  To that end, many custody orders provide timelines for discussing plans or selecting contact weeks.  Under the current Delaware Contact Guidelines,  the... More
  • The Possible Impact Of Medicaid Expansion On “Medical Divorce” “Medical divorce” is a term coined some years ago to describe a divorce obtained for medical reasons. More specifically, according to a recent article by George Diepenbrock, researchers defined “medical divorce” as an instance where one partner becomes diagnosed with a degenerative disease, such as early onset dementia. The couple could drain its assets, including retirement savings, to pay for treatment. However, some couples instead choose to divorce to shield one person’s assets. The sick partner would eventually qualify for Medicaid. A... More
  • Court Issues Sanctions In The Case Of In Re Shawe & Elting LLC The Court of Chancery recently issued its latest decision in the contentious case captioned In re Shawe & Elting LLC.  This decision addresses Elizabeth Elting’s motion seeking the imposition of sanctions against Philip Shawe.  After conducting a hearing on the request, the Court found, clear evidence adduced at the sanctions hearing establishes that Shawe acted in bad faith and vexatiously during the course of the litigation in three respects: (1) by intentionally seeking to destroy information on his laptop computer after the... More
  • Delaware Supreme Court Denies Request For Writ Of Mandamus, Prohibition, Or Certiorari A matter recently decided by the Delaware Supreme Court addressed a petition seeking the issuance of a writ of mandamus, prohibition, or certiorari.  Matter of Philip R. Shawe, No. 673, 2015 (Jan. 22, 2016).  The petition, filed by Philip R. Shawe (“Shawe”), sought a writ that would direct the Court of Chancery to vacate an order which compelled Shawe to return certain privileged documents.  It was Shawe’s contention that the order issued by the Court of Chancery violated his First... More
  • Delaware Supreme Court Adopts Rules To Govern Arbitrations Conducted Pursuant To The Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act By Order dated June 17, 2015, and in accordance with Section 5804(a) of the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act, the Delaware Supreme Court adopted Rules to govern arbitrations conducted pursuant to that Act.  The Rules, which may be viewed here, become effective on June 22, 2015. _____________ Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.  Leslie practices in Fox Rothschild’s Wilmington, Delaware office.  You can reach Leslie at (302) 622-4203, or [email protected]... More
  • Implementation of the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act The Delaware Supreme Court and the Court of Chancery have each amended their Rules to implement the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act.  The announcement of these amendments provides, Amendments to the Delaware Supreme Court Rules and the Court of Chancery Rules Related to the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act To implement aspects of the recently-enacted Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act, 10 Del. C. § 5801 et seq. (“DRAA”), the Delaware Supreme Court and the Court of Chancery have amended their rules. These amendments are... More
  • Supreme Court Addresses Motion To Dismiss On May 6, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court heard oral argument on two cases that presented the same question: “In an action for damages against corporate fiduciaries, where the plaintiff challenges an interested transaction that is presumptively subject to entire fairness review, must the plaintiff plead a non-exculpated claim against the disinterested, independent directors to survive a motion to dismiss by those directors?”  The Court responded in the affirmative stating, “A plaintiff seeking only monetary damages must plead non-exculpated claims against... More