What does Abandonment mean?
Abandonment or desertion is considered, "The act by which a person abandons and forsakes, without justification, a condition of public, social, or family life, renouncing its responsibilities and evading its duties." Abandonment is generally recognized as grounds for divorce, although what a particular state recognizes as abandonment can vary by state. Some states also will require the abandoned spouse to attempt to "reconcile" with the absent spouse.
Abandonment also requires the leaving spouse to refuse to contribute financially to the family's well-being. If the children have been abandoned this can allow the remaining parent to have de facto custody of the children. Abandonment can also eventually allow for the termination of parental rights. For example, if the one spouse leaves the family, refuses to see their child and does not pay child support, the state can terminate their rights as a parent. Talk to a divorce or family lawyer if you or your children have been abandoned by your spouse for more information about your rights.