Gaining Full Custody After Filing Divorce on Grounds of Abandonment
If you’re thinking of filing for divorce after your spouse abandoned you, you may be wondering how to gain full custody of your children. As you might assume, the fact that your spouse abandoned you will likely affect your chances of being granted full custody by the court. Before you make any decisions, take a look at what abandonment means in Florida, and how you can get started on the process of seeking full custody of your children.
Two Types of Abandonment
In Florida, there are two types of abandonment during a marriage. The one that is most well known is actual abandonment, in which one spouse chooses to pack up his or her things and leave the home. With actual abandonment, the spouse who leaves does not have the intention to ever return home.
The other type of abandonment that leads to a divorce is constructive abandonment. This is when the spouse does not physically leave the house but withholds something important from the other spouse for a year or more. This could be sexual relations, money or any other element that is considered important in marriage. Physical or mental abuse and adultery could also be considered constructive abandonment.
If you’re not sure which of these definitions fits your situation, talking to a family lawyer can help you find out if your situation qualifies as abandonment.
Getting Full Custody After Abandonment
If your spouse has abandoned you and you’re seeking full custody of your children after the divorce, you may have an advantage. This is because the court is not likely to look favorably on a parent who has deserted his or her family.
Right now, you have de facto custody, which means you automatically have custody of your children because you’re the only one caring for them. Continue to be their sole custodial parent as you get legal help with the divorce. As long as this situation is seen as being in the best interest of the children, the court will likely keep it this way, giving you a good chance of getting full custody.
Regardless of your circumstances, you need the help of a Northwest Florida lawyer who has experience with family law cases. If you’re ready to start your case for full custody, contact Attorney Laura Spencer Coleman today to set up a consultation.