Does Abandonment Matter in Divorce?

Sometimes a spouse abandons the other spouse during the marriage. In other words, they leave the marriage (physically and perhaps emotionally) and never come back. Many wonder whether (1) this is a grounds for divorce; or (2) whether it can impact the outcome of the divorce.

The reality is that the laws vary by state. Therefore, it is vital for this reason for an individual to talk about their unique situation with an attorney. Generally, however, fault (or grounds) is no longer needed in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, or Oklahoma to get a divorce. If the marriage is irretrietably broken (or there are irreconciable diffferences), that is generally enough to get a no-fault divorce.

Nonetheles, abandonment can still end up being a factor courts look at in granting a divorce:

  • In Missouri, the judge can look at whether a party was abandoned by their spouse for six or more continuous months prior to the divorce filing.
  • In Kansas, the judge can look at the failure to perform a martial duty as a grounds for divorce.
  • In Illinois, the judge can consider whether the parties have been separated for two years or more as a grounds for divorce.

In other words, abandonment can end up being important in some cases where one party decides to contest the divorce itself. While this might not seem likely, there are still cases where one party does not wish to agree to the divorce.

Past whether abandonment is grounds for a divorce, some still wonder whether abandonment can impact the outcome of the divorce itself? In Missouri and Kansas, a party can argue that the conduct of the parties during the marriage should impact the outcome. Courts then have great discretion in terms of considering whether abandonment shoud impact the divorce outcome. In some cases, a court might find it important. In other cases, the court might not find it important.

Of course, if there are children, and one of the parties have abandoned them, this could certainly have an effect on any legal and physical custody, visitation or the allocation of parental responsibilities. Courts have to consider the best interests of the children. If one of the parents have been absent, this can certainly impact the outcome in terms of the children. This could theoretically impact child support in some cases as well.

Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma Divorce Lawyers Who Can Carefully Consider Abandonment

If you are going through a divorce in Missouri, Illinois in Kansas, and believe that you have been abandoned, you can contact Stange Law Firm, at 855-805-0595 or contact us online. We have offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Tulsa and beyond.