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My Husband Abandoned Me

Help! My husband packed a bag a week ago and said he was going on a weekend trip with his friends. He called to tell me he was not coming back. What do I do now?

Abandonment is when one spouse leaves the marriage without any justification or consent of the other spouse, and with the intention of ending the marriage.

California does not recognize abandonment as a ground for divorce according to Family Code Sections 2310 to 2313, which states, “irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity” as grounds. This means that it’s unnecessary to prove to the court that your spouse has abandoned you and your family.

However, according to the California Courts Self-Help Center, abandonment also refers to “a parent’s absence or lack of support for a child.” Abandonment may affect a child custody or visitation dispute.

California law allows you to proceed with filing for divorce; however, it requires that you attempt to locate your spouse first. Tips to help in your search include:

  • Contacting family members and friends
  • Searching through telephone directories
  • Tracking financial transactions on joint bank accounts and credit card

According to California law, it is important to provide the other party with sufficient notice of the legal proceedings. If you cannot locate your spouse, the courts allow you to satisfy your service of process obligations through publication:

  • First, file a Declaration of Due Diligence with the court
    • Providing details on your attempts to locate your spouse
  • Make a formal ex-parte request to the court to allow for service by publication
    • Requires you to publish a notice of the divorce proceedings on a weekly basis for a minimum of 4 weeks in newspapers that he may see
  • Once complete, you can proceed with the California divorce procedures

If you have been abandoned in a marriage, the Riverside divorce attorneys of Holstrom, Block & Parke understand that you have already been through considerable trauma and can provide you with honest advice about your potential divorce case. Call today to discuss your situation with a compassionate and experienced legal advocate.

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