In divorce proceedings, abandonment refers to when one spouse leaves the other without the intention of returning. Prior to the enactment of “no-fault” divorce laws, spouses could allege abandonment as a ground for seeking a divorce. Although proving fault is no longer required to get a divorce in California, abandonment may be factored in by a judge when awarding child custody, alimony, and deciding how marital property will be divided. If your spouse abandoned you or the children, you should be prepared to present evidence of the fact of the abandonment and the effects it had on you and the children. You may have suffered financially and emotionally. Depending on their ages, the children’s anguish may have manifested in changes in behavior and performance at home or school. Any evidence of the negative impact of abandonment should be discussed with your attorney and prepared for presentation at trial, if necessary. When you allege abandonment, your spouse may raise a defense of consent or justification. A deserting spouse can mitigate or eliminate any finding of fault on his part if he can show you consented to the abandonment. One example of this would be if you asked your spouse to leave and never return. Likewise, a spouse may be able to show that the abandonment was justified due to abuse or another reason, such as the supposed abandonment was actually due to the spouse moving to take a new job while the other spouse refused to move. Under these circumstances, it is unlikely the court would attach any fault to the abandonment. The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can assist you in proving or defending an abandonment situation in your divorce proceedings in California. Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas. If you are a spouse facing divorce, call us today to learn more about how we can help you. Call (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.