Divorce Based on a Spouse’s Abandonment

To get a divorce in New York, like in most other states in the U.S., you have to show that there is a valid legal ground for the divorce. One of these grounds for divorce is that your spouse has abandoned you, and potentially even your family, as well. However, like many things in the law, there are some subtle complexities when it comes to getting a divorce on the grounds of abandonment.

What Constitutes Abandonment for a Divorce in New York?

To be a ground for divorce in New York, your spouse has to have left you for a year or more. However, there are numerous additional requirements that need to be satisfied in order for an abandonment to give rise to a grounds for divorce.

Your spouse must have left voluntarily. This means that involuntarily absences, like being called up to the military, or serving a jail term of two years, do not constitute an abandonment that allows you to file for divorce.

Your spouse must not intend to move back. While this often goes hand-in-hand with the voluntariness of the abandonment, there are situations where your missing spouse might have left of his or her own accord, but still be uncertain as to whether they want to move back or not.

You cannot have consented to your spouse’s leaving. This is often a distinction between an abandonment and a legal separation, which is when you and your spouse agree to live apart for a set period of time.

Your spouse’s abandonment cannot have a justification to it, and must have been done to move away. Again, this is often another facet of the voluntariness question, but there are instances where it can be its own issue.

Constructive Abandonment

Even if your spouse does not leave the house, a divorce court can still recognize an abandonment in certain, special circumstances where it is clear that, even though a couple is still physically together, they have emotionally abandoned each other. One of these circumstances is a lack of sexual relations between spouses.

Contact a Syracuse Divorce Attorney for Help

If you are interested in pursuing a divorce based on your spouse’s abandoning the marriage, you will need a family law and divorce attorney to represent you and to fight for your interests and make sure that all things are done to ensure that the outcome is in your favor. Call the Bombardo Law Office, P.C. at (315) 488-5544 or contact us online.

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