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What is considered abandonment in divorce?

When your marriage ground is breaking, abandonment breaks through the unsteady ground at an unforeseen moment. No longer a united force, you can seek the help of a divorce attorney in Suffolk County from Simonetti & Associates if your partner is absent in your everyday life. What is abandonment? Also known as desertion, abandonment is when one partner leaves the marriage without the other’s consent. It is also a ground, or legal reason, for divorce. Below is a more detailed explanation of abandonment.

Is It Abandonment?

Below are a few scenarios that explain desertion:


  • Your spouse refuses to move when you are relocated for work reasons.
  • A spouse leaves due to domestic violence.
  • One spouse shares their desire for a divorce and moves out.


  • Inhabitable conditions from one spouse make it impossible for the other spouse to stay.
  • Physical/mental cruelty from one spouse
  • Refusing sexual intercourse from one spouse

Constructive desertion occurs when one spouse leaves the marital home because of misconduct. The previous examples qualify. Your divorce attorney in Suffolk County can use abandonment as a fault ground for divorce if it is longer than one year. If one spouse would like to plead sooner, as a no-fault ground, the abandoned party may file as an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” after six months. In this case, abandonment would not be the reason for ending the marriage; rather, the marriage naturally fell apart.

Abandonment vs. Separation

When a spouse completely disconnects from family and financial responsibilities without consent of the other spouse, it is abandonment. 

However, with a separation, a spouse leaves the marital home but continues his/her obligation to family matters, such as supporting any minor children. As mentioned earlier, your divorce attorney in Suffolk County can assist your abandonment case as a ground for divorce when the spouse does not return for a year. If the spouse returns in less than a year, it is not considered desertion. 

Rights as an Abandoned Spouse

Abandoning a spouse effectively solves any marital issues, but it is a short-term solution with imminent consequences. Desertion speaks to a spouse’s inability and lack of care for family and others. If children are involved, the courts prefer the parent who has stayed with the children to have sole custody. Fleeing does not make someone capable to raise children, especially since it was without consideration of others.

In a divorce, each spouse is entitled to equitable distribution of property. The abandoned spouse can request alimony from the other spouse. 

If there is no divorce, the courts can grant spousal support to the abandoned spouse. This requires both parties to provide financial support during the rest of the marriage.

Child Custody, Visitation Rights, Support Rights

The courts will consider income, expenses, and other factors when your divorce attorney in Suffolk County helps with child custody. As an abandoned spouse, you have two options:

  • File a petition to have sole custody of any children

You will be the primary caregiver of your children, but your spouse will still be financially responsible, as well.

  • Request joint custody with your abandoned spouse

There are two kinds of custody: physical and legal custody. Physical custody determines who is responsible for caring and supervising the child. Legal custody determines who is responsible for the important decisions in the child’s life, such as medical decisions. Joint custody means you will be making these decisions with your spouse together as a co-parenting team.

Take the Next Step

Divorces are complicated, especially when there are children involved. Even if there aren’t, you should not be alone. If you are considering abandoning your family, were abandoned, or know someone who was, make an appointment with Simonetti & Associates for a divorce attorney in Suffolk County to end things the right way.

Service Type
Divorce Attorney
Provider Name
Simonetti & Associates, Telephone No.877-385-2560
Suffolk County
Also known as desertion, abandonment is when one partner leaves the marriage without the other’s consent. Contact your divorce attorney in Suffolk County.