The Mating Grounds

Abandoned in Divorce: Navigating Child Custody Property Division and Alimony

Are you currently going through a divorce and dealing with abandonment issues? Are you considering a divorce due to abandonment concerns?

No matter which category you fall into, this article is here to guide you through the process of abandonment in divorce. What is Abandonment in Divorce?

Abandonment, in terms of marriage, refers to a deliberate severing of ties by one spouse towards the other. This can be a physical or emotional disturbance and is generally categorized as either marital abandonment or financial abandonment.

Spouses who abandon their partners either physically or emotionally are usually not fulfilling their marital obligations, which can create a significant strain on the union. Are Desertion and Abandonment Related to Divorce?

Desertion and abandonment are quite similar, in that they both involve one spouse intentionally leaving or ending the marriage. However, desertion typically refers to the physical act of someone leaving their partner without any justification or communication.

Whereas, abandonment can encompass desertion, but it also includes financial abandonment, where a partner refuses to provide financial support, leaving the abandoned partner to fend for themselves.

The Difference between Abandonment and Separation

Abandonment refers to a spouse leaving without consent or communication while separation happens when both parties reach a mutual decision to live separately. Separation is often a necessary step taken by individuals to evaluate their priorities and figure out issues within a marriage.

It can also be a way for couples to work out their problems and find a way to get back together.

Types of Abandonment

There are two types of abandonment, which are constructive and criminal abandonment. Constructive abandonment refers to a situation where a partner emotionally or physically withdraws from the marriage’s responsibilities for an extended period.

On the other hand, criminal abandonment refers to a situation where one of the partners has abandoned the family without providing any form of support.

Effect of Abandonment in Marriage on Divorce Issues

When a marriage is affected by abandonment, it can have significant impacts on various aspects of the subsequent divorce. These include:

Proving Abandonment

Proving abandonment in court can require significant evidence, as all potential grounds for divorce require demonstration of specific conditions. To prove abandonment, you must prove that your partner has deliberately refused to communicate or return home for an extended period, with no justification or intentions to remedy the situation.

Child Custody

When it comes to child custody, the abandonment can impact how the courts view your partner’s eligibility for custody. The court will consider if the abandonment contributes to the children’s physical, emotional, or mental well-being.

If your partner’s negligence has impacted the children, you may be entitled to full custody.

Division of Property

Abandonment can significantly impact property division. If your partner has abandoned both you and their possessions, you may have a stronger claim to property acquired during the marriage.

However, laws can differ by state, so it is essential to consult with an experienced divorce attorney.


Abandonment can also impact the possibility of receiving alimony. If your partner abandoned you, it can be challenging to receive alimony, particularly if the abandonment was due to financial reasons.

Proving Abandonment in Court

To prove abandonment in court, you must provide evidence throughout each of the three stages of the abandonment period. These are:

Specific Period

You must prove that your partner has abandoned you for a specified amount of time, which differs by state. Typically, it is in the range of one to three years.

No Communication

You must prove that your partner has not communicated with you or any form of support, financial or otherwise, during the abandonment period.

No Justification or Intentions of Returning

Lastly, you should show that your partner has no justifiable reason for abandoning you, such as a military service or mental illness. They must have also made no attempts, such as hiring a divorce attorney or seeking marital counseling, to return.



Divorce is a complex and emotional process, and abandonment can complicate things even further. If you are dealing with abandonment issues in your marriage, it’s essential to consult with legal and counseling professionals to weigh your options carefully.

Proving abandonment can be challenging, but with the right evidence and legal representation, you can establish your case successfully. Keep in mind that the process may take time, and the outcome may not be what you hoped for.

However, by maintaining a positive outlook and relying on a support system, you can work through this difficult time with strength and resilience. 3)

Child Custody

When going through a divorce, concerns about child custody are always top of mind.

Abandonment can significantly impact the court’s decision when it comes to child custody. If one parent has voluntarily left the home and ceased all parental responsibility, the remaining parent may be entitled to full custody.

The court’s primary concern in all child custody cases is the best interests of the child involved. If the abandoning parent’s absence has significantly impacted the child’s emotional, physical, or mental well-being, it can strengthen the remaining parent’s case for full custody.

It’s essential to note that the court will consider various factors when making a child custody decision, not just abandonment. The court will evaluate each parent’s parenting skills and abilities, the child’s relationship with each parent, and the stability of each parent’s home environment, among other things.

Ultimately, the court’s priority will always be to ensure the child’s safety and well-being. If the abandoning parent does seek custody and visitation rights, they will need to prove that they are willing and able to provide a stable and supportive home environment for the child.

They may also need to take steps to repair the relationship with the child, such as attending counseling sessions. If you are dealing with child custody issues related to abandonment, it’s vital to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

They can guide you through the legal process and help you build a strong case for custody that puts the child’s well-being front and center. 4)

Division of Property and


One common misconception related to abandonment is the effect it has on the division of property and the availability of alimony.

In most cases, abandonment does not have a significant impact on either of these factors. When it comes to the division of property, courts use a case-by-case evaluation to determine how to split marital assets.

They consider several factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning potential, and each spouse’s contributions to the marriage. Abandonment may be a factor in this evaluation, but it’s unlikely to be the sole determining factor.

Similarly, state laws typically determine whether alimony is available, and abandonment may not be a factor considered in determining a spouse’s qualification to receive it. However, if abandonment has caused significant financial hardship for the abandoned spouse and their dependents, it may factor into the court’s decision.

Ultimately, the effect of abandonment on the division of property and alimony will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a skilled attorney to evaluate your options.


Abandonment is a complicated issue that can raise many challenges when dealing with divorce, especially regarding child custody, division of property, and alimony. While abandonment can undoubtedly impact these areas, it’s essential to remember that every case is different and will be evaluated on its specific circumstances.

Therefore, it is critical to seek experienced legal help to navigate these complex issues and obtain the best outcome possible for you and your family. 5)


Going through a divorce is a complex and emotional process that can be further complicated by issues like abandonment.

While abandonment is a legitimate concern in divorce proceedings, it’s essential not to overlook the benefits of legal separation and divorce settlement.

Legal Separation

Legal separation is an option for couples who want to separate but not divorce. It can provide valuable time and space for each spouse to evaluate their priorities and work together to resolve any issues in the marriage.

Couples who choose legal separation can still negotiate child custody and support, division of property, and alimony. However, they remain legally married and are not free to marry other individuals.

One of the main benefits of legal separation is that it allows couples to maintain certain benefits like health insurance coverage, social security benefits, and tax benefits. It can also be less costly than getting a divorce and may be a better option for couples who are not sure if they want to end the marriage entirely.

Divorce Settlement

If legal separation is not a viable option, settlements are the most common way for couples to reach an agreement during a divorce. The settlement process involves negotiating the terms of the divorce, including child custody, support, division of property, and alimony.

The goal is to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement that both parties can agree on. A divorce settlement can save couples significant time and money compared to a court proceeding.

It also provides more control over the final decision, as the couple has the opportunity to set their own terms rather than leaving it up to a judge. Overall, legal separation and divorce settlements can offer significant benefits for couples considering a divorce.

While abandonment should not be overlooked, it’s essential to consider all options carefully and work towards an arrangement that prioritizes the well-being of all parties involved. In conclusion, divorce is a challenging process, and abandonment can complicate it even further.

It’s essential to seek legal guidance throughout the process and consider all options carefully. Whether it’s legal separation or a divorce settlement, approaching the situation with patience, open-mindedness, and professionalism can help both parties reach a satisfactory conclusion.

In conclusion, abandonment is a significant issue in divorce that can have far-reaching effects on various aspects of the proceeding, including child custody, division of property, and alimony. It’s important to understand the various factors at play when dealing with abandonment during divorce proceedings and seek out legal representation to navigate the complex legal landscape.

Additionally, legal separation and divorce settlements can offer viable options for couples to reach mutually beneficial agreements and work towards a resolution that prioritizes the well-being of all parties involved. By approaching the situation with care, professionalism, and open-mindedness, couples can navigate the challenges of divorce and abandonment and move towards a brighter future.

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