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Understanding the Legal Implications of Spousal Abandonment in Illinois

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, marriage, divorce laws,In the wake of a heated argument, one spouse may decide to leave the other for a short period of time. Although it is not uncommon for married couples to argue or want to spend time apart, certain behaviors may constitute spousal abandonment according to Illinois law, and this may be grounds for divorce.

What Constitutes Abandonment?

In most cases, it is best for divorcing spouses not to change the living arrangement by relocating. The exception is when there are factors that put either spouse or any children in danger.

The courts do not consider every situation involving one spouse leaving to be abandonment. However, when one spouse leaves without any explanation, does not return for one year or longer, and provides no information about where he or she is, this may be abandonment.

Cases of abandonment typically involve one spouse leaving without providing an indication of when he or she will return. Also, there usually is no reliable means to contact the spouse who left.

How Can Abandonment Complicate a Divorce?

Abandonment can potentially make matters of child custody, alimony, and even property division more complicated. In some cases, the spouse who relocated may not be present for the negotiations, which could compromise his or her interests. Also, if a parent abandons children, this may hinder that person’s ability to win custody.

Avoiding Abandonment Accusations

 If a marital situation becomes too difficult to bear and leaving seems necessary, it is important to take certain precautions to avoid abandonment accusations. First, if it seems likely that the marriage will end, you should consult an attorney to learn how to avoid mistakes that might compromise your interests. Second, the spouse who wishes to leave must provide a reliable means of contact.

Consult a Divorce Lawyer in DuPage County, Illinois

If you are currently going through a divorce and would like to speak with an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney, contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. Call us today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.
The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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