Family Lawyers: Things You Should Know About Marital Desertion

One of the main reasons people hire family lawyers today is divorce. There are various grounds for divorce, including adultery, cruelty, criminal conviction and desertion. Desertion means that your spouse has willfully abandoned you and the children. Here are some essential things to know about abandonment as grounds for divorce. 

Criminal Desertion

If you are unwell and not able to take care of yourself, you have grounds for divorce if your spouse runs off. If you have been relying on your spouse for financial support, and they decide to leave, then that is wrong. The law does not require that you live with someone you do not like just because they have financial problems. However, if they have been relying on you for money and upkeep, the law requires that you continue providing it. Remember that it is only abandonment if your spouse leaves without discussing it with you. When you agree on a separation, your spouse can decide not to come back. 

Length of Desertion 

With desertion, time is critical. If your spouse leaves for a week, you can't get a divorce on the grounds of desertion. You have grounds if he or she goes for a year. Bear in mind that if they are giving you financial support, then they have not deserted you. That is also true if they provide upkeep for the children.  

Constructive Desertion 

Desertion does not always mean that your spouse left home. They could have stopped being part of the household. They could do things that make it impossible for you to be comfortable in the house. Talk to your family lawyer about your situation and find out whether it qualifies as constructive desertion. Your spouse could mistreat you such that you have no choice but to escape the union. They can do this by being emotionally abusive, cruel, physically abusive, unfaithful and withholding sex. He or she can also refuse to provide you with financial support.   

Protecting Yourself  

If you do not want to sue for divorce after your spouse abandons you, you can ask for spousal support in the local family court. The parent who has custody of the children can also ask for child support. Your family lawyer will advise you on what your rights are in any circumstance. 


If you are facing desertion, as illustrated above, you can get a divorce on the grounds of desertion. Good family lawyers will help you get the best possible settlement.

To learn more about divorce, contact family lawyers in your area like those at Ray Swift Moutrage & Associates.