My Spouse Left Me. Can I Claim Desertion as Grounds for Divorce

My Spouse Left Me. Can I Claim Desertion as Grounds for Divorce?

TV shows and movies often talk about people having ‘grounds for divorce.’ Sometimes, you might even see a distressed spouse hiring a private investigator to get photos of their spouse’s wrongdoing to firm up their plan to end their marriage. In some states, couples might have to choose one of several reasons they want a divorce, including cruelty or adultery. But if your spouse has left you, and you live in California, can you claim desertion as the grounds for your divorce?

California is a No-Fault Divorce State

But does ‘no-fault’ means you don’t have to have grounds for divorce when you file your petition?

No-fault means that neither party has to prove that the other party did anything wrong. For example, you don’t have to prove that your spouse committed adultery. You also don’t have to provide evidence that your husband or wife has deserted you.

Under California law, you can state two basic reasons for your divorce:

  • Irreconcilable differences. This means that your marital bond is completely broken as you and your spouse can no longer live together.
  • Permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. You are divorcing your spouse due to mental illness or insanity.

Limiting divorce to the two reasons listed above can make the process easier for the spouse who wants the divorce. Also, keep this in mind:  It is not necessary for both spouses to want to terminate the marriage. Only one spouse has to file the divorce petition. The other party cannot stop the divorce by simply refusing to participate in the process.

Other Issues Related to Desertion and Abandonment Issues

While you do not have to claim desertion to get your divorce, it can affect your divorce proceedings.

For example, California law requires that you serve your divorce papers on your spouse. You don’t have to prove desertion as grounds for divorce, but you do need to know where your spouse is living if at all possible. If you cannot locate your spouse, you and your family law attorney can explore other options to finalize your divorce.

When one spouse abandons the other, financial support might become an immediate problem. If you have been left with no financial support because of desertion, talk to your attorney to see if temporary orders will help.

Likewise, you might need temporary orders to clarify child custody and visitation. Again, tell your attorney everything so he or she can give you the right advice.

Talk to Us About Your Grounds for Divorce

California family law attorneys understand how the law will apply to your situation. At least you can end your marriage without having to prove that your spouse did anything wrong, like desertion.

Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney today. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.

Please call us at 415-293-8314 to discuss your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.

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