When can desertion be claimed in a marriage? - Divorce Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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When can desertion be claimed in a marriage?

If a spouse leaves home and takes all of his/her clothes without notifying the other spouse that he is leaving or their whereabouts, how long must that spouse be gone before it is considered desertion? Is there any advantage to claiming desertion in a marriage?

Harris Law Firm
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The State of Oregon is a no-fault state, meaning there does not need to be a "reason" for someone to file for divorce or legal separation. Most petitions simply state there has been an irremediable break down in the relationship.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 12/28/2010

William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
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One year is generally considered the minimum. That is without support. If spouse supports you there is no desertion in Tennessee.


Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 12/20/2010

Answer By Paris Kalor
Saddleback Law Center
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If you are in California, then no. California is a no fault state, and it does not make any difference. However, you can obtain an order for exclusive use and possession of the house and change the locks.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/18/2010

Answer By Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
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Never in California. California is a no fault divorce state. You don't have to prove anything and there is no gain for showing that the other side did something wrong. I can help you file and move your case towards and expeditious resolution. Please contact me for a free consultation.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/17/2010

Answer By Matt Potempa
Law Office of Matt Potempa, PLLC
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"Willful or malicious desertion or absence of either party, without a reasonable cause, for one (1) whole year" is one of many grounds for divorce in Tennessee. There are "fault" and "no-fault" grounds in Tennessee and some allegations are more serious than others. There is no particular advantage for claiming one ground above another. Generally, "inappropriate marital conduct" is included as a "catch-all".

Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 12/7/2010

Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
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Abandonment(desertion) is still recognized as a fault ground for divorce in the Commonwealth. Advantages? Probably, not many except the spouse allegedly deserted could file immediately (without waiting 6-12 months).

Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 12/4/2010

Answer By Steven D. Keist
Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law
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Desertion is generally not an issue anymore, since the advent of no-fault divorce in almost every state. No advantage in AZ, not sure about other states.

Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 12/3/2010

Answer By Kenneth Sigman
Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev
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In Maryland, a deserting spouse must be gone for one year before you can file a divorce complaint. The primary benefit to claiming desertion is that it enables you to file for divorce after one year of separation instead of two years.

Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 12/2/2010

Answer By Dawn DiManna
DiManna Law Office, LLC.
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There is no advantage to claiming desertion. However, you can receive a Default Order, which means that you can have the court order what you want without the opposing party participating in the process as long as you do service by publication in a newspaper in the town of the last known address of the party. You can file and request a default hearing within 30 days of the publication in the newspaper.

Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 12/2/2010

Answer By Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
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The California Family Code does not provide for abandonment as a grounds for divorce. California is a no fault state, meaning that the parties just need to show 'irreconcilable differences' to obtain a divorce (assuming that the parties have lived consecutively in California for the past six months and the County in which they file (or at least the Petitioner) for the past three months).

If the spouse has just disappeared, you could file your Petition at any time. You will have some issues with service of the Summons. You will probably have to publish in a local newspaper of the last known city in which the spouse lived if you truly have no idea where to find your soon-to-be ex-spouse. There are various declarations you must make regarding your due diligence in locating the ex-spouse to inform he or she of the pending Hearing.

Though 'desertion' is not a grounds for divorce in California, it is an important consideration for the Court when considering custody and visitation of children, setting spousal support, and partitioning or dividing property.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/1/2010

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