What is Abandonment, and How Does It Affect a Texas Divorce?

a wife sits sadly on the stairs while her husband abandons her

What Constitutes Abandonment in a Marriage?

To rise to the legal level of abandonment, two elements must be met:

  1. Your spouse must have left with the intention of abandoning you.
  2. Your spouse must have remained away for at least one year.

In other words, it is your responsibility to show the court that your spouse’s intention was to abandon you in the marriage.

How Abandonment Affects Spouses with Children

Things obviously become more complicated when children are involved (Wondering how you have help your children through divorce? Click here to learn more). If you and your children have been abandoned, then you have all suffered financially and emotionally.

It is established that caring for a family on your own is difficult. While Texas courts typically proceed with the presumption that it is in the best interest of the children to maintain a continued relationship with both parents after divorce, abandonment can strain this presumption.

If your spouse is determined to abandon you and your children, then the court has considerable discretion and can seriously limit your spouse’s access to visitation and/or possession of his or her children. (Read more on child custody)

How Abandonment Affects Your Marital Property

Texas is a community property state, which means that everything you amassed together as a married couple belongs to both of you equally. This does not, however, mean that your marital property will be divided equally down the middle when you divorce. Instead, the court seeks a division of property that is "just and right."

Abandonment is likely to play an important role in how the judge in your case calculates a division that adheres to the principle of what is just and right.

If you have been abandoned in your marriage, then you have faced financial hardships due, in part, to the loss of your spouse's income over the ensuing period. All of this will be taken into consideration by the court in determining how your marital property will be divided. (Unsure if your property is marital or separate? Click here to learn more)

Have You Been Abandoned by Your Spouse? Consult an Attorney Today!

Texas is a no-fault divorce state, and as such, most divorces in Texas are based on irreconcilable differences, referred to as “insupportability” under Texas law. Generally, this means that the spouses are unable to get along and want to end their marriage.

In cases involving insupportability, one spouse files the divorce paperwork, and the divorce process is begun. In some cases, however, the fault does play a role in Texas divorce – such as when your spouse abandons you and your marriage for a significant length of time.

If your spouse has abandoned you and your children, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Central Texas family law attorney.

Divorce is never easy, but a divorce based on abandonment can be especially traumatic. You, however, are not alone; Mr. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas has the experience, knowledge, and compassion to fight for the most positive resolution of your case.


Contact us or call us at (254) 220-4225 for more information.

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