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Abandonment: What It Could Mean To Your Divorce

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The issue of abandonment can have significant implications during a divorce, as it can influence various aspects of the process, including child custody, property divisions, and spousal support. It's important to note that divorce laws and proceedings may vary from state to state, so the specifics of the abandonment issue may differ depending on the location.

Child Custody

Abandonment can be a crucial factor in determining child custody arrangements. If one parent has abandoned the family or displayed a lack of involvement or interest in the child's well-being, it may impact their claim for custody or visitation rights. Courts generally prioritize the best interests of the child and may view abandonment as an indication of an unsuitable parenting situation. It's highly advisable for divorcing parties that desire physical custody of the child to take (or keep) the children with you.

Property Division

When dividing marital assets, abandonment can influence the allocation of property. In some jurisdictions, abandonment can be considered a factor when determining how to distribute assets and debts. A spouse who abandons the marital home or fails to contribute to its upkeep may have a weaker claim to a portion of the property. However, leaving the family home because of abuse or other good reasons may be an exception. 

Spousal Support

In certain cases, abandonment may affect spousal support or alimony payments. If one spouse abandons the other without justifiable cause, it could impact their entitlement to financial support. However, this may vary depending on the location and the specific circumstances surrounding the abandonment.

Emotional Impact

Abandonment can have a profound emotional impact on both parties involved in the divorce. The feelings of rejection, betrayal, and loss associated with abandonment can make the divorce process more challenging and contentious. Emotional distress may influence negotiations, mediation, or the ability of the parties to reach an amicable settlement. 

Default Divorce

In many cases, abandonment coupled with a lack of contact could morph into a default divorce. Speak to a divorce lawyer about proceeding with a default divorce if you are unable to make contact with a spouse that has abandoned your marriage.

It's crucial to consult with a family law attorney who is familiar with the laws of divorce. You can then obtain accurate information and guidance regarding the impact of abandonment in a divorce. Your lawyer can provide advice tailored to your specific circumstances and help you navigate the legal process effectively.