What is Marital Abandonment?
When you get married, you rarely think that you and your spouse will run into significant issues. After all, people get married to stay together for life. Unfortunately, unexpected events and situations can occur that lead to marital issues. If this happens, you and your spouse may decide to break up. This is known as a divorce and is quite common in society. Sometimes, though, one spouse leaves the other, either physically or in their actions. This is known as marital abandonment. Ultimately, marital abandonment occurs when one spouse completely severs ties with the other and their family, therefore abandoning their family duties. It’s important to understand that simply leaving the home to temporarily or permanently separate is not considered marital abandonment. However, it becomes abandonment when there is no intention to return or the party refuses to provide support. When this happens, certain effects occur. If you have questions about marital abandonment, contact Rochester divorce attorney Michelle Cimino for a confidential consultation.
There are different types of abandonment. Marital abandonment does not necessarily refer to physically leaving the home, but it can be accomplished through bad behavior.
For example, if your spouse makes your life very difficult or insufferable which causes you to leave, they have committed constructive abandonment. Some grounds for this victim-spouse leaving under constructive abandonment include physical, emotional, or mental abuse and cruelty, infidelity, and refusing to provide financial support. All of these show that the spouse is not providing their duty in the family, thus proving constructive abandonment.
A second form of abandonment is criminal abandonment. This revolves around the idea that a spouse suddenly leaves or refuses to provide care, protection, and support for their child or sick spouse.
Your spouse has the right to leave, as the law does not state people must continue living together, but there is a price for them to pay. It’s likely that leaving an ill spouse is ruining the spouse’s financial stability, and there will likely be an order for continued financial responsibility and care.
In the case of a child, child abandonment is a crime in many cases regardless of whether physical harm was endured. With this, many ramifications, potentially as far as a criminal record, will occur.
Property Division in Marital Abandonment
In most cases, the division of marital property is not affected by whether or not a spouse abandoned another. This means that regardless of if your spouse abandoned you, they are still entitled to equal division of marital assets.
If the abandoning party left the residence without discussing how monetary and financial obligations will be handled, and if the remaining spouse continues to fund these obligations, they can argue to the court that the abandoning spouse should not be entitled to any accrued equity or even the entirety of the property.
Lastly, if the abandoning spouse destroys or devalues marital properties, this can be taken into consideration when marital assets are determined by attorneys and the court.
Protecting Yourself When Abandoned by Your Spouse
When you’ve been abandoned by your spouse, there are multiple actions you can take.
First, you can file for divorce. This is the typical and most common way to proceed with abandonment.
Next, if you do not wish to file for divorce, you can still request spousal support from the abandoning party. This is done through your family court.
Lastly, if you have children, you can file for custody over them. The custody process is often lengthy and has the child’s best interest in mind. Ultimately, there are actions to take if you’re a victim of marital abandonment.
Divorce Lawyers in Rochester NY Helping Guide You Through Marital Abandonment
If you’re a victim of marital abandonment, there are steps you can take. You may be feeling stressed or uneasy, but with the right assistance, you can regain control of your life. The Cimino Law Firm is an experienced firm with over 20 years of experience in family law.
Michelle Cimino can help you through your marital issues and guide you through the processes that are best for you and your family. Our divorce lawyers in Rochester, NY offer confidential consultations – call us today to schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you!
We represent clients throughout Rochester including Monroe County, Orleans County, Livingston County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Genesee County, and Wyoming County.
Learn more about how to identify abandonment issues here.
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