Divorce can be stressful, and if your spouse has abandoned you, the process can be even more complicated. There may be complex financial and custody issues that you will need to address and resolve. This can be challenging if your spouse has walked out on you and your children and refuses to provide any financial support. If your spouse has abandoned your marriage, contacting a lawyer who will protect your legal rights is highly recommended.
What Is Marital Abandonment?
Marital abandonment occurs when one spouse severs all ties with the family and fails to meet their financial and support obligations. In some cases, when a spouse abandons a marriage, they do not intend to return. There are two types of abandonment:
- Criminal abandonment: This occurs when one spouse stops providing the necessary care and support for minor children or a spouse with health issues without just cause. Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children are properly fed, clothed, have a safe home, and have their educational and medical needs met. If a parent fails to fulfill these responsibilities, they could face serious legal consequences, including losing custody of the children.
- Constructive abandonment: This occurs when a spouse can prove that the other spouse has made conditions too unbearable to stay in the marriage.
Since New Jersey is a “no-fault” divorce state, you do not have to prove grounds for divorce, so there may be no legal benefit to claiming abandonment as your reason for getting a divorce. However, it may impact custody issues, spousal support, and the distribution of marital property.
How Does Abandonment Impact Child Custody Decisions?
A judge will determine the children’s best interests when making custody-related decisions. Ideally, both parents will share custody to remain involved in the children’s lives. If your spouse has abandoned the family and has no intention of returning, this will likely impact the judge’s decision regarding custody. The judge will weigh the circumstances and make a custody decision that is best for the children.
Will Abandonment Affect Alimony or the Division of Property?
When considering who should receive alimony and the payments, the judge will focus primarily on how much one spouse needs financial support and whether the other spouse can afford it. If you are requesting spousal support from your spouse who abandoned you, a judge may grant you an award of spousal support, particularly if your spouse was the primary source of income and is in a financial position to pay it.
It is highly recommended that you consult with a divorce lawyer if you believe you are an abandoned spouse and alimony is an issue in your case.
Whitehouse Station Divorce Lawyers at Tune Law Group, LLC Represent Clients in Abandonment Cases
If your spouse abandoned your marriage and you have concerns about the impact this will have on your divorce settlement, do not hesitate to contact our Whitehouse Station divorce lawyers at Tune Law Group, LLC. Call us today at 908-434-1061 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, we serve clients in and around Hunterdon County, Monmouth County, Whitehouse, and Tewksbury.