Leaving a marriage without consent from the other spouse is known as abandonment or desertion. Although state laws vary, most states define abandonment as one spouse vacating the residence for at least one continuous year without consent from the other spouse and failing to pay support. The departure cannot be a result of actions of the plaintiff or petitioner.
Prior to no fault divorce laws simply abandoning the marriage might have been one of the primary means some couples used to establish grounds for a divorce. Legal separation on a trial basis with the consent of both spouses is not considered desertion or abandonment.
What is constructive desertion?
People leave marriages for a variety of reasons. If you are forced to leave a marriage because your partner has made it impossible to remain, either through physical or mental cruelty, this could be considered constructive desertion. Other claims of constructive desertion include withholding sexual relations or forcing a spouse to live with abusive in-laws.
Do I need grounds for divorce?
If you are considering filing a divorce petition you will need a grounds for divorce, but the reason could be a simple as irreconcilable differences. Gone are the days where you had to lay bare the most personal details of your private life to construct grounds for divorce.
Given the advent of the grounds of irreconcilable differences, most couples will not have to prove desertion or present evidence that their spouse left home for more than one year, they failed to pay support, or that either spouse refused their marital duties. They can simply claim their marriage is irretrievable broken and cannot be repaired.
Should I leave the home?
Although leaving the marital home may be your only option or a sensible strategy for coping with an intolerable situation, most legal experts suggest that leaving the home can at times weaken one’s case. For example, if you have small children and you move out and have little contact with your children for a significant period of time it may be hard to prove to the court that you could be as good of a parent as the mom or dad who stayed and took care of the children.
He deserted me will he still get property?
Distribution of property will depend on your state’s laws. For example, the state of Texas is a community property state, which means the court will divide marital property equally between a husband and a wife. In some states, however, the judge may be allowed to consider misconduct, which means the court may decide to adjust from a 50/50 split.
If your husband or wife has left you and you have not seen them in months it is time to talk to a divorce lawyer. Divorce lawyers can answer your questions and help you figure out what you need to do to protect you and your children.
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