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Can I Get An Uncontested Divorce If I Have Been Abandoned by my Spouse?

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 18-Sep-2012

Individuals who have been abandoned by their spouse may still qualify for an uncontested divorce. Both spouses will have to be in agreement to get an uncontested divorce. Also, the person filing for an uncontested divorce will have to be able to locate his/her spouse in order to have the appropriate paper work signed.

What is Spousal/Marital Abandonment?

In the state of Pennsylvania spousal abandonment is recognized when: abandonment is deliberate and final, continued for an uninterrupted time of twelve months and the relationship has moved beyond any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

A spouse who moves out of the marital home is not necessarily abandoning his/her spouse. Leaving the marital home does not necessarily mean that spouse leaving loses rights to ownership or possession of the house. Parting from a house does not mean that the leaver is free from financial responsibilities, either.

Constructive desertion is when a spouse leaves the home due to the other spouse making it impossible for him/her to stay in the house. An example of this is when a spouse has been mentally of physically cruel. Denial of sex normally cannot stand alone under constructive desertion and usually has to be combined with not fulfilling mutual marital responsibilities.

Healing from Spousal/Marital Abandonment

Unfortunately, spousal abandonment has become more prevalent in our society. Sudden abandonment can be more painful than a common uncontested divorce. The betrayal and lack of concern for the abandoned spouse leaves the abandoned spouse in a deep state of grief and it normally takes significant more time for the abandoned spouse to heal.

Guilt can easily compound for the abandoned spouse. Often we hear the phrase it takes two to break up a marriage. In fact, it really only takes two to get married one to break up a marriage.

One way to start healing from this trauma is to move your thoughts from the past, of what could have been, to future thoughts. Think about how you want to have a happy and healthy future. Take charge of what is going to happen to you and your children from today on. Let your spouse know exactly what you want in your marital settlement agreement. Don't let your spouse pull you into an argument. Be clear and focused as you work out your future through your marital settlement agreement. Feel free to visit the section on martial settlement agreements, in our legal blog, for more ideas on how to negotiate and view marital settlement agrements.

Attorney Jim Cairns has a simple but very effective marital settlement questionnaire that you can request to help you structure the agreement. Cairns law offices can then take your answers and prepare a customized marital settlement agreement for both you and your spouse to sign. The agreement will then be incorporated in to the divorce decree and made part of the court record. Attorney Cairns is also available by telephone or online for any questions you may have.