Divorce due to abandonment happens all too often these days. It is always a difficult and humiliating experience for the spouse left behind, but becomes all the worse when children are involved. When one spouse walks out they aren’t just leaving their spouse behind, they are also walking out on the children, as well. The effect this can have on the entire family unit and the mental well-being of children and spouse alike can be like a sledgehammer. Depending upon the state this is called either “desertion” or “abandonment”, and is another example of a “fault-based” divorce.
Although many states are moving away from “fault divorces”, divorce by abandonment is still a type of fault divorce accepted in New York. Essentially this type of divorce is awarded when one party as seen as being the cause of the divorce, stemming back from the days when couples did not get divorced without a fault. Society required some evidence of fault or blame in order to award the dissolution of a marriage. Today, this type of divorce is used rarely and only in cases where clear wrongs have been committed against the spouse or children.
Abandonment grounds for divorce
- The spouse must have left for the sole purpose of leaving the marriage—a spouse whose husband is in the military and deployed cannot argue for abandonment
- The spouse must stay away for a year or more
- The spouse rejects attempts at reconciliation
- The spouse refuses to pay child support
Abandonment is a Still Ground for Divorce in NYC
If there is clear evidence of abandonment, then the benefits associated for/with a petition of abandonment or applying for abandonment divorce NY may make sense. Certainly, this type of fault divorce can speed up the divorce process and can also be beneficial to distribution of marital assets and support. The courts do not take kindly to the abandonment of minor children and this creates a wide berth for favorable custody and support petitions.
Home abandonment divorce
When a parent abandons his or her children to the care of the remaining parent or guardian, it creates what the legal system calls: “de facto” custody. Courts do not need to order custody because the circumstance by which the custodial situation came into being have already defined the order, therefore the courts will solidify the custody arrangement from “temporary” during the filing to “permanent” rather quickly. Temporary support can also be awarded in cases where one parent has to wait out the duration of the abandonment claim.
In the most extreme of circumstances a parent may also ask to have parental rights completely nullified and/or terminated. Divorce abandonment settlements usually, once started, move quicker than other types of fault divorces. Please contact our New York family lawyer to talk about if this type of divorce is applicable in your case.