What is Abandonment And Desertion In Divorce?

What is Abandonment And Desertion In Divorce?

November 1, 2023 0 By ISF.com

The divorce rate in the United States is said to be declining, but if you find yourself facing a looming possibility of divorce, you may be thinking about your options now. While some couples choose not to finalize their divorce, abandonment is very common. Abandonment happens when one spouse leaves the marital home without consent or justification or, when one spouse forces the other person out of their home.

With the legal framework offering solutions to confront such distressing situations, you need to arm yourself with the knowledge of divorce laws in California so that you can face your circumstances effectively. 

From pursuing financial support to initiating a divorce based on abandonment, there exist avenues to safeguard your rights and well-being. Though the path of rebuilding after abandonment may appear challenging, you can definitely reconstruct your life and rediscover happiness with the right support and resources.

Here’s what you need to know about abandonment and desertion:

The Legal Definition of Abandonment

Abandonment involves not just physical departure but also the emotional distancing between spouses. To legally define abandonment, it’s essential to establish that one spouse intentionally left the marital home without justification and without the consent of the other party.

Emotional abandonment is equally impactful, occurring when one partner withdraws emotional support and fails to meet their marital responsibilities. Legal recognition of abandonment hinges on proven intentional abandonment and lack of justification. 

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It is also crucial to establish that the abandonment has persisted for a certain period of time, typically ranging from several months to a year, depending on the jurisdiction.

Emotional Effects of Abandonment in Divorce

Experiencing the emotional effects of being left behind can leave you feeling a profound sense of loss and uncertainty. It’s like standing at the edge of a turbulent emotional abyss. When your partner walks away, you’re left grappling with a lot of feelings.

Abandonment often leaves you feeling betrayed, questioning the promises and trust that were once the bedrock of your relationship. The void created by an absent partner can lead to profound loneliness. It’s common to doubt your self-worth, leaving you questioning your capacity to be loved.

The sudden departure disrupts your life. Anger may become a constant companion, as you grapple with the profound changes it has brought.

These emotional effects can take time to heal and the path to healing begins with acknowledging these emotions, but remember, you’re not alone in this. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist who can guide you through the labyrinth of emotions and help you find closure. 

It’s a journey that may be challenging, but it’s one that countless individuals have embarked on and emerged from with newfound strength and resilience.

Legal Remedies for Abandoned Spouses

Amidst the tumult of abandonment in a divorce, there is a glimmer of hope in the form of legal remedies that can provide a sense of justice and security. When your world feels shattered, these legal avenues can help you regain your footing.

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1. Seek Spousal Support or Alimony

Financial stability is crucial. You can file for spousal support or alimony, ensuring you have the financial assistance necessary to maintain your standard of living and secure your future.

2. Pursue Fair Asset Division

Don’t let the emotional scars of abandonment prevent you from receiving your fair share of marital wealth. The court can help ensure that assets and property are divided equitably.

3. Prioritize Child Support and Child Custody

If children are involved, their well-being is paramount. Legal remedies can ensure child support and fair custody arrangements, guaranteeing their best interests are upheld.

In these legal avenues, you’ll find not just a sense of justice but also a foundation upon which to rebuild your life. Remember, you have rights, and the legal system is here to support you during this challenging time.

Rebuilding and Moving Forward After Abandonment

You’ve weathered the emotional storm, tackled the legal complexities, and now it’s time to embark on a new chapter in your life, one filled with possibilities and personal growth. 

Embrace Your Emotions

Acknowledge and accept the spectrum of feelings you’re experiencing, from anger to sadness and confusion. Understand that it’s perfectly normal to grieve the past.

Seek a Support System

Surround yourself with friends and family who provide emotional comfort and encouragement. Lean on them for strength and practical support in the tough times.

Rediscover Your Passions

Reconnect with the hobbies and interests that bring you joy and fulfillment. Explore new activities that ignite your passion and sense of purpose.

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Set Small Goals

Create achievable goals that mark your progress and keep you motivated. Celebrate each accomplishment as a testament to your resilience along the way.

Embrace Self-Discovery

View this period as an opportunity to uncover hidden facets of yourself. Foster personal growth and explore your dreams and aspirations.

March Forward with Confidence

Recognize that moving forward is not just about bouncing back; it’s about bouncing forward. Embrace the uncertainty as a canvas for self-discovery and design a future filled with happiness.


The journey through abandonment and divorce is undoubtedly challenging, but it’s one that you can navigate with resilience and support. As you move forward, healing and rebuilding your life, let the lessons of the past shape your future. Remember that support and resources are available to help you through this challenging time.