Spouse Abandonment Laws in Colorado

By Jennifer Eblin

The term spousal abandonment refers to a marriage where one partner willing leaves the other. In most states, abandonment constitutes grounds for divorce. Colorado is one of the states that has a no-fault policy, meaning that one partner cannot use the actions of another in the divorce proceedings. Either partner can file for divorce at any time in the state.

Leaving the Home

When both partners reach an agreement to file for divorce, the two must decide what to do about the shared home. Both partners can continue living in the residence, one can move out, or both can leave. In Colorado, when one partner willing leaves the home and moves into a different residence, it is not considered abandonment. One partner leaving has no bearing on the final outcome of the divorce.


If one spouse has an affair, it is not considered in the final divorce ruling. When the cheating partner used marital funds to support the affair, then it has weight in the eyes of the court. The partner that was cheated on must gather evidence, such as credit card receipts that document the affair and how it was paid for. In Colorado, the cheating partner may be required to reimburse the spouse for money spent on the other person.

Spousal Abandonment

The only time spousal abandonment plays a role in the divorce proceedings is when the person that left does not support the family. Colorado law requires that spouse to continue to give financial support and produce a house for the family. As long as the spouse continues supporting his family, it is not considered spousal abandonment. If the person moves out of the shared home and stops paying or contributing to the bills, then it may be considered spousal abandonment.

Expert Insight

Family law attorney Lois Tabberson Gray differentiates between desertion and abandonment in the eyes of the court. Desertion occurs when one partner leaves the shared home, with plans to end the marriage, such as filing for divorce. Abandonment occurs when the partner moves out, stops offering support and does not end the marriage. Anyone with questions about spousal abandonment or divorce in Colorado should contact a qualified divorce attorney. The attorney can answer any questions about the divorce proceedings, represent the spouse in court and help the individual file for a divorce in one of the state courts.

About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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