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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10284
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My wife has left (abandoned) the home without notice. This

Customer Question

My wife has left (abandoned) the home without notice. This has left me with all bills and upkeep of home. Is there a legal recourse for this?
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 11 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  LegalGems replied 11 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear this; it would depend on when the abandonment occured, and whether there were minor children involved. Can you please provide that information so I can get the relevant information?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The abandonment just happen within last 30 days, she took her two minor kids with her. She just up & left, I am stuck with all the bills and upkeep. Pretty sure divorce will follow. My main concern is she keeps coming back, when I am not at home and taking property. There was no discussion of seperation, she just left to go "work on herself".
Is there something I can do to protect the assets in the home & hold her accountable for the circumstance she has left me with concerning the debts.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 11 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this;

there is no legal proceeding for legal separation, so the only way to end a marriage is to file for a divorce.

That information is here

During the divorce process, the court can issue injunctions, such as exclusive use and possession orders regarding the family home.

Depending on who owns the home, if a non-owner abandons the home, the owner is free to change the locks to prevent unauthorized access. If the other spouse is listed on the home as an owner, it would require a court order allowing one to change the locks.

During the divorce process, the court will equitably divide the marital property. So if the house is jointly owned, the court will determine the parties' respective ownership percentage and will generally allow one spouse to buy out the other, or will order the sale of the house. Interim orders will be made as to who is responsible for which bills. The sooner this is determined the better. The court has discretion to order reimbursement for past bills, or to take into account how bills were paid when making the equitable division.
The parties are free to make this arrangement themselves via a post nuptial agreement, which would outline the parties respective rights and obligations.

Also a step parent has no duty to support their step children, as only parents are legally obligated to do so.

If the parties are able to agree, the divorce process is much simpler; for example, here is the petition for the simplified process - this can save a lot of money in legal fees.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 11 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.