In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to find and communicate with someone. So, if a person chooses to suddenly halt communication with a significant other, it’s usually intentional. The slang for this action has been dubbed, “ghosting” among pop culture.
If your spouse has left you like this, you have the right to move on after an extended period of time. Here’s when you can get divorced on the grounds of ghosting, or as it’s referred to legally, abandonment.
Can I be the abandon-er?
Only those who are abandoned by their spouse may file for divorce on the grounds of abandonment.
Is it abandonment if my spouse doesn’t spend time with me?
You’ll have the option of filing for actual abandonment or constructive abandonment. In either case, you’ll need to show that your spouse has left you willfully and with malicious intent.
Actual abandonment describes a situation in which one spouse has physically left the other for an extended period of time, without any contact.
If your spouse is frequently traveling, ill, deployed in the military or working in another state, you may feel neglected or abandoned. In these situations, you may choose to file for constructive abandonment.
However, keep in mind that if your spouse is not intentionally choosing to abandon you, you should not file for divorce on the grounds of abandonment.
What is the separation period for actual abandonment?
To file on these grounds, you will need to show that your spouse abandoned you for at least twelve months — without any contact. You would also need to demonstrate that the marriage is irrevocably broken.
Why would I file for divorce on these grounds?
In Florida, the courts can enter a default against a spouse that does not answer the petition to divorce within seven days of being served. If your spouse has abandoned you and does not respond to the divorce papers, the courts may choose to accept all of the conditions of the divorce that you request in the divorce complaint.
Also, relaying the abandonment to the courts will help characterize your spouse. For example, the unreliability that these actions demonstrate could affect how child custody is handled.
However, if you weren’t ghosted by your spouse and still want a divorce, there are other grounds to file on. By speaking with an attorney, you can learn more about how best to handle this within your unique situation.