In California, marriage desertion places the remaining spouse in a position with strong legal leverage -- assuming the deserting spouse is tracked down. Desertion may be qualified as a spouse who abruptly leaves his marriage with or without reason. California is a "no-fault" state, where a couple may divorce for any reason. Due to this measure, according to Law QA, "claiming" desertion in a divorce filing may not make much for a difference, although if you take the deserting spouse to court to account for his actions, you are in an advantageous position with the law on your side.
House and Property
In California, divorce courts commonly make an attempt to separate property equitably among spouses. If one spouse deserts the other, he may automatically lose his rights to any property left behind, whether it's solely or jointly possessed. The remaining spouse may also file for private use and control of the property, and replace all the locks.
Children and Support
The remaining spouse retains sole physical custody of children in the event of desertion. To ensure the permanence of sole custody, the remaining spouse can request the court to issue an expedited support order in accordance with the Welfare and Institutions Code. In California, if the deserting spouse is discovered, the courts can demand his employer to automatically redirect a portion of his paycheck to the remaining spouse for child support.
Remaining spouses and children have a right to issue a protective order against a deserting spouse to prohibit him from coming back unexpectedly and without invitation. A protective order -- or restraining order -- is issued to safeguard remaining spouses and children if they feel they are in danger. The petitioner may file an application for a protective order through the civil court in the California county where he lives. No fee is involved in the filing process.
Judgment of Nullity
The marriage may be nullified if abandonment was due to polygamy, bigamy, incest, insanity of the deserting spouse or if other marital fraud is involved. The remaining spouse may also file for a judgment of nullity if the marriage was entered into via undue force, or if it was never consummated.