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Was I deserted and is it sufficient cause for divorce?

| Jan 2, 2020 | Divorce |

For North Dakota couples who are experiencing marital issues and a dispute-laden situation, it is important to understand the options when considering a divorce. In the state, people can file for both a fault and a no-fault divorce. When considering a fault-based divorce, there are certain actions and circumstances to justify it. One is desertion. Knowing when and if desertion has taken place is a foundational part of filing for divorce because of it.

If one party voluntarily separates from the other, there are certain aspects that will categorize it as desertion. A persistent denial of sex when there is no health issue making it necessary, or if either spouse refuses to live in the same domicile when there is no just cause to do so, will be considered desertion. If one person leaves the dwelling or is absent because of fraud or a scheme from the other party and, while the absence is ongoing, the person who has committed fraud leaves intending to desert, that person is committing desertion.

When there has been cruelty or threats with the expectation that they could be carried out, the party who departs the residence for his or her own safety is not committing desertion, the threatening or abusive party is. If a party is absent or there is a separation, it will be desertion if that intention comes about while the absence or separation is taking place. If the parties agree to separate and one wants to reconcile and it is in good faith but the other refuses to reconcile, the refusing party will be committing desertion.

There might be a perception that desertion is limited to a spouse disappearing with the other spouse unaware of where he or she is. That is inaccurate. There are many ways in which one spouse can desert the other and this could be grounds for divorce. If there is desertion or any other fault-based reason to file for divorce, it is wise to have legal advice from a law firm experienced in divorce legal issues.

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