Marriage can be hard. And, when things get hard, some spouses walk away. When a spouse leaves the relationship, it can be confusing for the remaining spouse to know what to do. Texas law offers guidance, and the lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., can help protect your interests.
Abandonment as Grounds for Divorce
Abandonment is one of seven different “grounds for divorce” listed under Texas law. Abandonment can be grounds for divorce if your case meets two different requirements:
- Your spouse left with the intention to abandon you
- Your spouse stayed away for at least a year
This can be challenging to prove. To use abandonment as grounds for divorce, you must show the court that your ex-spouse left with the intention to never come back. Just leaving is not enough. The intent to leave you permanently must also be there.
Further, the spouse must have been gone for at least a year. Logistically, this can be a problem for the spouse left at home, as they struggle to pay the bills and take care of the children. It’s hard to make ends meet as a single parent before a divorce is filed and a child support order is issued.
Physical abandonment is most-often considered when discussing abandonment as grounds for divorce, but emotional abandonment can be a factor in a divorce, too. Emotional abandonment happens in situations where one spouse has given up all interest in the other spouse. For example, when one spouse has become so addicted to drugs that they cannot be emotionally present for their spouse, they may be seen to have emotionally abandoned the marriage. Talk with your attorney about your options if you feel that your spouse has emotionally abandoned you and your family.
Abandonment: What Courts Can Do
If a judge finds that your spouse has abandoned you, he or she might divide your community property accordingly. Judges have the power to divide property in relation to fault in a marriage. You may be entitled to receive a greater share of community property if your spouse has left the marriage and is not coming back.
When a Spouse Has Left, Get Legal Help
At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about abandonment by a spouse. We can help you understand the divorce process and what next steps to take. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your situation.