My wife and I have filed for divorce. Since the time of our separation roughly 6 months ago, she has only come back to the marital home for a few days to spend minimal time with our children.
Do I have grounds for abandonment?
I am only licensed in Wisconsin so I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general separation advice for men, though.
Wisconsin (where I practice) is a no-fault divorce state, which means that a party need only prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken to obtain a divorce. Wisconsin courts do not consider the events leading up to the dissolution, such as marital misconduct, adultery, or abandonment, when granting a final judgment of divorce.
Issues like abandonment can play a role in the court’s determination of child custody and physical placement, though. The court will decide custody and placement by weighing all factors relevant to the best interests of the children.
These factors include the interaction and interrelationship of the children with their parents, the amount and quality of time each parent has spent with the children in the past, and the cooperation and communication between the parents.
A parent who disregards his or her duties to his or her children after filing for divorce will have a tough time claiming sole child custody or primary placement.
Courts seek to create a stable environment for the children of divorcing parents during and after the divorce process by preserving the status quo. If your wife establishes a status quo of detachment during the pendency of the divorce, the court may be inclined to uphold a similar arraignment for placement after the divorce is finalized.
I have only provided you with general divorce information. For a more in-depth answer and legal advice on divorce, you should contact a family law attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Daniel Exner, a Staff Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.