Abandonment in North Carolinaabandonment in North Carolina

Abandonment in North Carolina is detailed in Article 40 § 14-322 of the North Carolina General Statutes. If a spouse to a marriage is found to have abandoned their spouse and any children they had together, this can have an impact on a divorce proceeding.

What is Considered to be Abandonment in North Carolina?

In order for abandonment to be decided on by a North Carolina court, the following evidence needs to be shown:

  • Cohabitation of the spouses ended;
  • Without any justification or consent; and that the
  • Abandonment occurred without any intent to cohabitate again; or
  • A showing of constructive abandonment must be made in the alternative.

What is Constructive Abandonment?

Constructive abandonment in North Carolina does not actually require that a spouse physically leave the marital dwelling. Instead, constructive abandonment can happen while the parties to marriage still live under the same roof with each other. Essentially, a claim for constructive abandonment requires a showing that one spouse made the other spouse’s life so miserable that they rendered the other’s life intolerable. Other examples of reasons for constructive abandonment are adultery, substance abuse, emotional abuse, or domestic violence.

Why is This Type of Claim Important to Understand?

If you are interested in filing for a claim of abandonment, you should know that it is not considered to be a separate claim in family law courts. Instead, a claim of abandonment can be used to aid the court in justifying a divorce from bed and board, or increasing the amount to be awarded in an alimony claim. In certain cases, a claim for abandonment can also impact child custody.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with a claim for abandonment in North Carolina, consider setting up a consultation with a family law lawyer at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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