In the case of sexual relations, constructive abandonment means a spouse leaves the marriage in spirit by refusal to have sexual relations. In sexual desertion, which is considered a fault ground, the party charging it must prove abandonment, generally for one year, during which the spouses may share the same roof but presumably not the same bed.
Constructive abandonment is a form of abandonment used as a ground for divorce, and it may also be considered a form of cruel and inhumane treatment. Some years ago, a newspaper story described the marriage of an aging movie star and her husband. Though still legally married, he lived in one wing of their enormous house; she lived in the other, and they both entertained their separate and individual circles of friends in the common rooms on a reservation basis.
This is probably a creative example of desertion, sexual and physical as well as by consent. Without a doubt, constructive abandonment could be the grounds for divorce in many marriages where it is not used for obvious reasons. As grounds for fault divorce, sexual desertion means laying bare very personal details of two private lives. Just leaving by mutual agreement is not a divorce. An agreement to separate may be a preliminary for a no-fault divorce, but just leaving is not.
For example, when the husband and wife separate on a trial basis, both may agree to it, but a trial separation -- one sometimes undertaken to take stock of the marriage -- is not grounds for a divorce in itself. Desertion must meet certain criteria, and most but not all states consider it a ground for divorce.
Abandonment and Desertion in Divorce - Divorce Source
Desertion, like adultery, is a difficult route to divorce, and like adultery not used much. In general, most states require the plaintiff or petitioner, the party who is abandoned, prove that the defendant or respondent left the home for more than one year, did so without the agreement of the spouse, failed to pay support and that the reason for the departure was not caused by the plaintiff or petitioner. Abandonment or desertion means that neither the husband nor the wife refuse the duties and obligations associated with the marriage. Abandonment is not the same as a woman fleeing domestic violence in a crisis, nor it is the same as a man announcing his intentions to divorce his wife and then moving out.
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Like many facets of marital and family law, abandonment has two sides. This is particularly true when there are children because it may be much more difficult for the person who left to make a strong case that he or she is a fit parent if he or she walked away for a significant period of time.
The two people live as ships passing in the night. One spouse pays for everything, and the other contributes nothing at all.
Financial Effects of Spousal Abandonment
In some states one of the traditional grounds for divorce was nonsupport. In these states, a husband was required to support his wife.
Some states still have this ground in the state statutes. Information Provided by: Divorce Source, Inc. Useful Online Tools Divorce Online - With this online software you will complete and instantly print your divorce forms and step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. Online Separation Agreements - When you and your spouse agree about how to resolve your issues, 3StepAgreement TM puts you in charge and gets everything in writing. It's FREE. Give it a try.
This book supplies the information you'll need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your situation, ultimately allowing you to make better decisions before, during and after your divorce. Enter Your Zip Code:. Contested Vs.
What Is Considered Marriage Abandonment in Pennsylvania?
If you and your spouse have reconciled and lived together at any point after the initial desertion, the clock is reset. The one year period must be continuous. Additionally, your behavior is a pertinent consideration for the purposes of establishing abandonment. This may be due to mental cruelty or physical violence. Even refusal to engage in sexual intercourse can result in constructive desertion. This may also be viewed as cruel and inhuman treatment. In , New Jersey law added irreconcilable differences as a ground for divorce. This transformed New Jersey into a no-fault state.