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Spousal Abandonment Laws

Spousal abandonment is the abandonment of a spouse by the other. It can mean many different things to different people. Abandonment by the spouse can leave a person lonesome and unsure of what to do. Each state has its own spousal abandonment laws. This can lead to uncertainty and legal questions. Below are most commonly asked spousal abandonment questions that have been answered by legal Experts.

What is spousal abandonment?

Spousal abandonment is a term used to describe the situation when one spouse leaves the marital home or relationship without informing or getting the consent of the other spouse. Abandonment is grounds for divorce in many states. However, courts in most states require that the spouse should have been gone for a minimum period of time before a divorce can be filed on the grounds of spousal abandonment. If you are not sure of the laws in your state, ask a Family Lawyer to evaluate your case details and provide legal insights.

What is the California law concerning spousal abandonment and is it grounds for a divorce?

Spousal abandonment is usually not sufficient grounds for a divorce in California. California only recognizes two grounds for divorce — irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. While spousal abandonment can actually push a marriage to irreconcilable differences, it is not recognized as grounds for divorce by itself. Many other states though do recognize spousal or marriage abandonment as legal grounds for a divorce. If you feel that you may be experiencing spousal abandonment, and need clarifications on the legal provisions in your state, ask a Family Lawyer to get your questions answered.

If a spouse disappears for over 72 hours, is it considered spousal abandonment?

In most cases, this duration would be insufficient to constitute spousal abandonment. Abandonment of a spouse usually results when a spouse leaves with no word of his or her whereabouts for six months or longer. Total absence for longer than one year is considered abandonment of the marriage and home. Many courts look at spousal abandonment on a case-to-case basis. If you need help assessing whether your situation is considered spousal abandonment, you can ask a Family Lawyer and get answers to your questions.

Does abandonment of a spouse at an airport with no money have any legal implication?

It is usually not against the law to leave someone stranded with or without money. The only legal recourse a person would have in such a situation is to file for a legal separation or divorce. Again, this would not result in any criminal charges to be brought on the abandoning spouse. Since it is not a criminal offense, the only recourse to the abandoned spouse would be to try and protect their status quo in the marriage. This means, protecting the marital property and possibly obtain financial responsibility in the marriage. Depending on your specific situation, legal counsel could be called for. An Expert can answer any questions you may have regarding spousal abandonment, and help you determine whether you need to hire a lawyer.

Are people responsible for marital bills after they have abandoned their spouse, marriage and home?

There is a fine line between legal and moral responsibility. Legally, anyone with financial responsibilities is required to pay bills and amounts due. Morally, not everyone takes care of their responsibilities. If someone has been abandoned by their spouse, it can lead to financial stress resulting from the abandonment. The first step in such a situation would be to file a petition with the court for a legal separation or divorce. This will help divide the assets and financial obligations. There usually is community property in most marriages that needs to be divided. The court often decides on the property division if no agreement has been reached between the spouses prior to the divorce finalization. Spousal abandonment is not illegal in many states. However, some states are considerate towards an abandoned spouse or a spouse left in destitution. Since the laws differ from state to state, you could ask a Family Lawyer to seek legal insights.

There could be many more legal questions like these about spousal abandonment laws. Asking an Family Lawyer is a quick and affordable first step you could take towards getting legal clarity and answers to your questions.
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