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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

  • The New Year’s Resolution Of Divorce As 2017 draws near many people start to consider their resolutions, promises to themselves, of things they want to accomplish in the next 12 months.  Eric Solotoff, a Partner in our Roseland, New Jersey office recently authored an interesting post entitled “The New Year’s Resolution Divorce.”  The topic, which seems to resonate with readers, examines the phenomenon of spouses who add filing for divorce to their “to do” list for the new year. ************************** Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.  Leslie practices in Fox... More
  • Supreme Court Agrees Obligor Should Not Benefit From A Refusal To Pay Alimony The appeal in the case of Jones v. Jones focuses on alimony and the question of whether certain expenses are reasonable. In this particular case, the conduct of the alimony obligor was a significant consideration. Mr. Jones (“Husband”) was dissatisfied with the Family Court Order awarding his former wife, Ms. Jones (“Wife”), alimony. Seeking relief, he filed an appeal. The Supreme Court rejected most of his arguments but explored one related to medical expenses. Specifically, the Court remand the case back... More
  • Family Court Announces Amendments To Civil Procedure Rules 5, 72, and 302 Family Court recently announced amendments to Rules 5, 72, and 302 of the Family Court Rules of Civil Procedure. The amendments, which become effective January 9, 2017, may be read in their entirety here. The Court described the amendments as follows: Rule 5 governing the service of process and filing of pleadings in Family Court has been amended to reflect a change in the law regarding the certified mail requirement for retroactive modification of child support obligations. The prior law allowed for... More
  • Want To Modify Your Custody Order? The Timing Of The Filing Could Make A Difference . . . The date of the filing of a petition for modification of a custody order can be important for many reasons.  For example, it sets the burden of proof.  It can also provide parameters for the arguments at trial.  Consider the recently decided case of  Newman v. Newman, No. 119, 2016 (Nov. 29, 2016). Michael Newman and Sarah Newman are the parents of two children.  After their divorce in 2010 the Newman’s were party to a series of child custody orders. These orders include a stipulation... More
  • Supreme Court Reverses and Remands Default Judgment Background Mr. Davis and Ms. Davis are the parents of two children.  On February 14, 2016, Mr. Davis was personally served with a petition for custody of the children at an address provided by Ms. Davis.  As provided in Family Court Civil Rule 16, the case was then scheduled for mediation.  On February 23, 2016, the Family Court issued a notice to Mr. Davis, which was addressed to him at the same address where he received service of the petition for custody. The notice... More
  • Appellate Practice – What Tolls The Appeal Period? When filing an appeal timing can be everything.  A prior post explored a Delaware Supreme Court decision that held that a motion for clarification does not toll the appeal period. The recent Order issued by the Supreme Court in the case of Scott v. Adams, No. 383, 2016 (Nov. 9, 2016) reminds us that motions for reargument or for a new trial do toll that period. Background On June 28, 2016, the Family Court issued its decision on ancillary matters (“Ancillary Order”) in the divorce of Laura... More
  • Supreme Court Upholds Termination Of Parental Rights In the case of George v. Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF/DFS), No. 134, 2016 (Oct. 27, 2016), Ms. George filed an appeal challenging the Family Court’s decision to terminate her parental rights in her twins, M.G. and M.G.  Although appeals are not unusual in cases of termination of parental rights (“TPR”), Ms. George’s appeal presented an interesting argument. The background and history of the case is set forth in greater detail in the Opinion and are... More
  • Supreme Court Upholds Family Court’s Award Of Attorney’s Fees For Excessively Litigious Behavior The case of Tanner v. Allen recently made its second appearance in the Delaware Supreme Court. The first appeal resulted in a decision in which the Supreme Court upheld the Family Court order finding Mr. Tanner in contempt of that Court’s property division order. Following that appeal, on February 22, 2016, Ms. Allen filed a motion seeking reimbursement of a portion of the attorney’s fees incurred to enforce the property division orders. After considering 13 Del. C. § 1515 and... More
  • Social Media And Protective Orders – Lessons From Pennsylvania A prior post on this blog explored the use of social media to in custody cases.  As the  recent post by Mark Ashton, a Partner in our Exton office, points out social media to can have an even greater significance in the context of a protection from abuse order.  His post, entitled “Posts on Social Media, Go to Jail – How a Facebook Post Violated a Court Order” discusses a recent Pennsylvania action in which a contempt order issued for violation of... More
  • Alimony And Cohabitation – Timing Matters For many people facing the possibility of paying alimony after separation and/or divorce, the thought that their ex may cohabit makes them positively giddy. There is an expectation that cohabitation will prevent any future obligation to pay alimony. This expectation may be based on the language of Section 1512(g) of Title 13, which provides: Unless the parties agree otherwise in writing, the obligation to pay future alimony is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage or cohabitation of the party receiving alimony. As used in... 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