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Marital property abandonment

Not too often, but occasionally, a spouse simply wants out of their marriage and may try to do so by any means possible. Unfortunately, moving out of the marital home and walking away from a spouse and marital property does not mean the marriage is over. It may not even constitute abandonment. However, when a spouse wants out of a marriage so badly that they refuse to uphold their financial obligations, it may be said that they have abandoned their spouse.

Leaving or deserting any property or person can be considered abandonment. This can be in reference to pretty much anything, and most definitely marriage. The abandonment of marital property or a spouse is dealt with in family court and usually alongside a divorce. The same aspects of marriage that are addressed during divorce proceedings are addressed by the family court in cases of marital abandonment.

Many times, when an individual is found to have abandoned their spouse, family and financial obligations, the remaining spouse seeks a divorce. In most states, the family court rules that the remaining spouse has no obligation to be financially responsible for the abandoning spouse. In reference to the division of marital property after abandonment, they are usually considered separate issues. The act of abandonment typically does not weigh heavily on the division of marital assets, but may significantly impact the abandoning spouse's grounds to argue for certain property.

If it's found an abandoning spouse purposely neglects, devalues or destroys marital property, state statutes may allow a family court to take this wasteful behavior into account when dividing assets. Likewise, any financial changes, good or bad that take place during the period between abandonment and divorce may have a significant impact on how the family court divides marital property, equity, interest and liabilities.

Spouses that are struggling with marital abandonment may benefit by speaking to an experienced divorce attorney. With their help, the process of divorce can be made easier and a favorable case can be made to the family court for a fair marital property division.

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Goddard & Malmquist

Goddard & Malmquist
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Barrington, IL 60010

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