Constructive Abandonment Questions
What is Constructive Abandonment?Abandonment may be of two kinds – actual abandonment and constructive abandonment. When a spouse unjustifiably refuses to engage in sexual relations with the other spouse for at least one year and the parties continue to live together, it is called constructive abandonment. If there is consent from both parties to not engage in sexual relationship, it cannot be considered as constructive abandonment. Besides refusing to a sexual relationship, the spouse may also fail to perform other marital duties. Ask Family Lawyers on JustAnswer to get answers to any specific constructive abandonment questions that you may have.
Can Constructive Abandonment be used as a reason to File for Divorce?Divorce laws may vary from state to state. In many states like Florida and New York, constructive abandonment can be used as a reason to file for divorce. The person filing for divorce should be able to prove that the spouse has unjustifiably refused sexual relationship for a minimum period of one year, in spite of repeated requests to resume relations and also has failed to fulfill other marital duties.
Constructive Abandonment and Child SupportWhen a couple seeks a divorce on the grounds of constructive abandonment, one of the spouses may be required to pay child support. Refusing to do so could lead to punishment. In some states, child support may be paid till the child turns 21, unless the divorce agreement mentions any other specific age. Even if the child is already 21, and the parent has failed to pay child support in the past, the defaulting parent may still have to pay the arrears. However, the parent will be free from paying child support if he/she is able to prove in court that the child has abandoned the parent and has failed to keep any relationship with the parent. In such a situation, if the parent is able to gain exemption on the grounds of parental abandonment by the child, the parent may not have to pay child support.
In a Constructive Abandonment Case, can Spousal Support be Requested based on Marital Misconduct?When a couple gets divorced on the basis of constructive abandonment, one of the spouses can apply for spousal support based on marital misconduct. If the person requesting for spousal support is able to prove that it was difficult to maintain a decent standard of living due to the other spouse’s misconduct, then he/she may be awarded spousal support. How much the person gets in the form of support may differ from case to case depending on the person’s need to live comfortably.
Are Documents Submitted in a Constructive Abandonment Case Accessible to the Public?When documents are submitted in the court for a constructive abandonment case, they can normally be viewed only by the court, the judge and the two parties involved in the case. If an outside party wants to view the documents, they may do so by seeking permission through a formal request to the courts. The documents will be in the records even if one of the parties involved in the case withdraws any complaint or document that was submitted to the court. However, if one of the involved parties in the case does not wish for the documents to be made public, they may request the final divorce agreement to be made confidential.
Being accused of constructive abandonment or applying for divorce or legal separation based on constructive abandonment can be stressful and traumatic if you don’t know the procedures involved. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can help you with insight and answers on any questions you may have about constructive abandonment, divorce laws and other related issues.