Delaware Civil Marriage Act of 2013

Edward A. Tarlov, Esquire
Elzufon Austin & Mondell, P.A.
34382 Carpenters Way, Suite 8
Lewes, Delaware 19958

“Whereas, it is the intent …to establish civil marriage equality for all families by allowing  two (2) persons to marry regardless of their genders, to recognize same-gender marriages and substantially similar legal unions solemnized outside of Delaware as marriages, to convert existing civil unions previously solemnized in Delaware to civil marriage, and to clarify that person in a same-gender marriage shall enjoy all the rights, benefit and protections, and shall be subject to al the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties as different gender marriage person under Delaware law”.   

  1. The Act became effective in Delaware on July 1, 2013.    Delaware became the 11th state to formally recognize civil marriage.
  2. Under the Act a party to a civil marriage shall be included in any definition or use of the following terms as these terms are used in any statute of the State of Delaware:
    1. Dependent;
    2. Family;
    3. Husband and Wife;
    4. Immediate Family;
    5. Next of Kin;
    6. Spouse;
    7. Step-parent; and
    8. Any other term that denotes a spousal relationship.
  3. Persons shall be eligible to enter into a civil marriage only if both persons are (a) not legally married; (b) at least 18 years of age; (c) same gender; and (d) not related to the other party.
  4. Effect on title of real estate: 
    1. Hold title as “husband and wife/tenants by the entirety”
    2. Transfer of property is exempt from property transfer tax    
  5. All laws applicable to marriage or married persons shall now apply equally to same-gender and different-gender married couples and their children.
  6. Two persons of a legal civil union that was validly formed in another jurisdiction shall be afforded and shall be subject to the same rights, benefits, protections, duties, and obligations as are afforded or imposed upon married spouses within the State of Delaware.
  7. Conversion of Civil Union to Marriage:
  8. As of 7/1/2013 no new civil union licenses shall be granted nor civil unions solemnized.
  9. Between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014 parties to an existing civil union may apply for a marriage license in accordance with the marriage license process to have civil union legally converted to marriage either by operation of law or by having a ceremony.
  10. As of July 1, 2014 any civil union valid in Delaware will and where the parties have not previously converted to marriage will automatically be deemed married and can receive a Certificate of Marriage. 
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