When can a spouse be charged with abandonment?

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When can a spouse be charged with abandonment?

My daughter had a baby and I moved temporarily to help her. My husband is very unhappy and is threatening me to do something against me. Can he charge me with abandonment? I have all my things in my house; my intention is not to leave him I’m just doing something for my daughter. I’m traveling back every other weekend to spend time with him but that is not enough for him. He says that I have a house and a husband to take care of. But I’m doing this just temporarily .

Asked on November 12, 2011 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are only two grounds for divorce in Florida: that the marriage is irretrievably broken or the mental incapacity of one of the spouses. (Florida Statutes - Chapters: 61.052).  The question becomes could your actions be viewed as supporting the ground that it is irretrievably broken?  I think that the key here is that you do not have the intent to leave but that you are temporarily gone to help support your daughter and her family.  I have to say that your husband seems to be quite unreasonable here and is placing you in a terrible situation to choose between him and your daughter.  I would try and speak with either a close friend or family member that can help him to see the matter for what it really is or to discuss counseling.  But I doubt that he can charge you with anything.  If he does something against your interests - like changing the locks - I would seek consultation from an attorney.  Good luck. 


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